For Immediate Release September 12, 2019

Contact: Nichole Jefferson, President Home Dialyzors United
Phone: 304.279.3192
Email: njefferson@homedialyzorsunited.org

Home Dialyzors United and The Kidney Project Partner on Capitol Hill to Change the Face of Dialysis and Improve the Quality of Patient’s Lives

Dallas, TX. Home Dialyzors United (HDU) Board President Nichole Jefferson is excited to announce, as part of its mission, that HDU and its strategic partner, The Kidney Project, joined forces on Capitol Hill to promote Kidney X, and ask for increased funding for development of innovative technologies, such as iHemo for the prolonged and frequent hemodialysis at home and implantable artificial kidney. A public-private partnership between the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) designed to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases, KidneyX seeks to improve the lives of the 850 million people worldwide currently affected by kidney diseases by accelerating the development of drugs, devices, biologics and other therapies across the spectrum of kidney care including prevention, diagnostics, and treatment.

HDU announced its partnership with The Kidney Project (TKP) on May 12, 2017. The TKP research and development effort is led by Shuvo Roy, PhD, and William H. Fissell, MD, from University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), respectively. Dr. Roy serves as the Technical Director of The Kidney Project and is a faculty member in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine at UCSF. Dr. Fissell serves as the Medical Director and is an Associate Professor of Medicine in Nephrology and Hypertension at VUMC. Their combined expertise embodies all that HDU believes is possible for the future treatment of end stage renal disease (ESRD).

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The TKP team is developing a surgically implanted, free-standing bioartificial kidney to perform the vast majority of the filtration, balancing, and other biological functions of the natural kidney. The two-part device leverages recent developments in silicon nanotechnology, membrane filtration, and regenerative medicine. It is powered by the body’s own blood pressure without the need for external tubes and tethers or immunosuppressant drugs.

The bioartificial kidney will offer a new treatment option beyond the short-term solution of renal dialysis and the longer-term solution of a kidney transplant for which donor organs are severely limited. In addition, as a by-product of current research, TKP hopes to offer iHemo (implantable hemodialysis), an easy-to-use and patient-friendly system that would use the artificial kidney’s filtration unit to create a permanent interface between a patient’s circulatory system and a catheter that can be connected to an external pump, with the purpose of filtering out blood toxins. The system will spare patients from needles and time-consuming trips to dialysis centers.

TKP was one of 15 applicants to win a first-round prize of $75,000 at KidneyX in April of this year. However, it will require significant additional resources to get the bioartificial kidney through human trials, and so far funding has been elusive. In part, because there is no precedent for a project of the scope and complexity of an implantable artificial kidney.

HDU and TKP met with top officials at US Health and Human Services , in the House of Representatives, and at the White House to discuss the need for additional funding for innovative technologies in the renal field, where funding is either severely limited or none currently exists.

“We were encouraged by the response we received at HHS and pleased to be invited back to further discuss our options”, said Shuvo Roy. William Fissell added, “It was especially exciting to see technology development for kidney disease acknowledged as a crucial priority by policy makers”.

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Nichole Jefferson, President of Home Dialyzors United, is excited that HDU was asked to be a part of this transformational research. “TKP embodies all that HDU believes is possible for dialyzors – a simple renal replacement therapy that will allow patients to continue to work, travel, care for loved ones, and live an extraordinary quality of life”.

To learn more about how HDU will support patients, and how patients can support HDU visit http://www.homedialyzorsunited.org.

Learn more about The Kidney Project (https://pharm.ucsf.edu/kidney) and support the push for a universal donor kidney and transplant for every patient who needs one. Give Today! 

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