New competition offers $10 million to accelerate artificial kidney development toward human clinical trials.
Each day, 13 people die waiting for a kidney transplant. An artificial kidney would transform kidney care and bring new hope to millions of patients, families, and caregivers. But creating an artificial organ — especially one as complex as the human kidney — is no small feat. The effort will require multidisciplinary collaboration and a paradigm-shifting approach to kidney care.
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) launched the KidneyX Artificial Kidney Prize, a competition to accelerate the development of artificial kidneys toward human clinical trials. This multiphase competition is KidneyX’s first fully dedicated effort toward artificial kidney advancement, with initial phases offering up to $10 million in prizes. Phase 1 seeks solutions that enable and advance the functionality, effectiveness, and/or reliability of artificial kidneys.
The Artificial Kidney Prize, designed and produced by Luminary Labs, builds on past KidneyX competitions but is distinct in its goal: to accelerate the development of continuous kidney replacement therapies that provide transformational treatment options beyond current dialysis methods. Entrants are encouraged to address one or more priority topic areas; however, the competition remains open to solutions that advance artificial kidneys in other ways. Solvers across expertise areas — including nephrology, bioengineering, materials science, regenerative medicine, and medical devices — are invited to join the KidneyX solver community, where they can connect with experts in other disciplines or expand their teams.
Phase 1 of the competition calls for component or integrated prototype solutions with demonstrated performance, including proof of concept data, and detailed development plans. Phase 1 submissions are due March 24, 2021. The judging panel will recommend up to eight winners to receive up to $4 million in Phase 1 prizes.
Phase 2 of the Artificial Kidney Prize will be open to eligible entrants from Phase 1, as well as new eligible entrants who did not enter the first phase. The second phase of the competition will focus on initial integration of prototype solutions into an artificial kidney, or advancement of already integrated prototype solutions. Phase 2 will award up to $6 million in prizes and is expected to launch in fall 2021. At the discretion of HHS and ASN, additional competition phases may follow Phase 2 to further accelerate development of artificial kidneys. KidneyX hopes to secure a total of $200 million to support all phases.