Healio Special Report: Health Care and Politics

Healio Special Report: Health Care and Politics

December 26, 2019
2 min read

Trump signs spending bill that includes $5 million for KidneyX

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President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump on December 20 signed a spending bill that includes funding for federal health care agencies and $5 million to provide continued support of the KidneyX prize competition.

The Senate passed spending bill H.R. 1865 on Dec. 19 by a vote of 71-23 and sent the legislation to the president for his signature. The legislation was one of two FY 2020 appropriations packages signed by the president.

Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said the package “includes resources for critical domestic priorities that our entire nation will benefit from receiving. I am proud to have supported these bills and pleased that, as a result of our bipartisan efforts, we were able to come to an agreement and pass them ahead of our funding deadline.”

The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (Labor-HHS) portion of the appropriations bill includes funding for federal health care agencies under HHS, such as the NIH and CDC. An earlier Senate version this year did not have funding for KidneyX, whereas the House version of the spending bill did.

The $5 million proposed by the House for KidneyX “shall be for carrying out prize competitions sponsored by the Office of the Secretary to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases ... ,” the House bill stated. That appropriation was carried over to the final Senate bill.

“This is a breakthrough moment for not only KidneyX but the entire kidney community,” Mark Rosenberg, MD, FASN, ASN president, said, “For the first time Congress has called for and provided critical funding for prize competitions aimed at spurring innovation and improving kidney care for the 37 million Americans with kidney disease.”

ASN joined with the Department of Health and Human Services on Dec. 18 to launch the second phase of KidneyX: Redesign Dialysis, part of a series of prize competitions to “catalyze the development of innovative solutions that can prevent, diagnose, and treat kidney diseases,” ASN said in a press release.

Redesign Dialysis Phase 2 seeks prototype solutions, or components of solutions, that can replicate normal kidney functions or improve dialysis access. Participants may compete in the second phase even if they did not submit a solution in the first phase, ASN said. Prototypes should address at least one of the following areas.

  • blood filtration;
  • electrolyte homeostasis;
  • volume regulation;
  • toxin removal and secretion;
  • filtrate drainage and connectivity, and
  • dialysis access.

Deadline for submission of applications is January 31, 2020. Up to three winners will each be awarded $500,000.

“Dialysis treatment has not changed substantially since it was first introduced over 60 years ago,” said HHS chief technology officer Ed Simcox. “The pace of innovation in kidney care is unacceptable. Through KidneyX, we are creating a clear path for disruptive innovation in a $114 billion market.” – by Mark E. Neumann