The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to host the Kidney Innovation Summit, aimed at advancing best practices and sharing insights in chronic kidney disease (CKD).
The goal of the summit, held in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 9-10, was to share best practices and approaches to treatment by sparking interaction and collaborations between U.S. veterans, industry leaders, nonprofit groups, patient organizations, and federal agency stakeholders.
The event was an opportunity for intensive discussions about CKD and networking to identify areas of potential collaboration, such as renal replacement therapy, including kidney transplants.
Participants had the opportunity to attend talks, panels, round-table discussions and an innovation showcase (the full schedule is available here if you’d like to know more about the summit).
“The time for innovation in kidney disease research is now. Millions of Americans are affected by kidney diseases, a significant number of which are veterans,” Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN, president of the American Society of Nephrology , said in a press release. “We owe it to both veterans and civilians to develop cures for these devastating diseases. ASN is pleased to partner with the VA on this vital next step.”
Both the American Society of Nephrology and the VA are committed to help improve CKD patients’ quality of life. At the White House Organ Summit 2016, the ASN announced a pledge to donate the first $7 million to launch a prize competition as incentive for the development of novel technologies for renal replacement therapy.
Over 14 percent of the U.S. population is estimated to live with CKD and more than 661,000 are diagnosed with kidney failure, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Importantly, the prevalence of CKD among veterans is estimated to be 34 percent higher than in the general population, due to demographic differences and the existence of significant co-morbidities associated with CKD — type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
The NIDDKD also estimates that among these veterans, 40,000 CKD patients rely on dialysis or are waiting for a kidney transplant to remain alive. Care for veterans with kidney failure is disproportionately costly, at an estimated $18 billion annually.