With more than 20,000 members representing 131 countries, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. To accomplish this mission, ASN has forged partnerships with several federal agencies that benefit the more than 850,000,000 people worldwide with kidney diseases (including 40,000,000 in the United States).
To foster the development of therapies for diseases that affect the kidney, ASN is engaged in two unique initiatives. The Kidney Health Initiative (KHI), a public-private partnership between ASN and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established in 2012, has members across the kidney community including patient and health professional organizations, industry partners, and federal agencies. KHI encourages collaboration through a member-driven project submission process, workshops, and an annual meeting in which the FDA and the greater nephrology community interact to optimize evaluation of drugs, devices, biologics, and food products.
ASN also partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in April 2018 to establish KidneyX and accelerate breakthroughs to promising new technologies for people with kidney diseases. KidneyX will host a series of prize competitions to provide competitive funding to promising innovators and address the barriers most commonly identified when developing new products to prevent, diagnose, and treat kidney diseases. The first prize competition, KidneyX Prize: Redesign Dialysis, has at total prize pool of $2,625,000.
To enhance the quality of life for the more than 700,000 people in the United States with kidney failure, ASN has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to engage nephrologists as team leaders in transformational change. Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety (NTDS) makes dialysis safer by eliminating preventable infections through adherence to recommended practice, screening and detection, implementation of clinical protocols, and human factors assessments.
Finally, ASN in partnership with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is developing a powerful tool to empower kidney patients to contribute to their own well-being. A new mobile app designed specifically for people with kidney diseases, the MyKidneyNutrition App, is being developed to track nutritional, fitness and medication information.
“Research!America is proof that meaningful success for patients, researchers, and clinicians can be achieved through collaborative measures. ASN will continue to look for opportunities to engage with the broader community on any kidney-related clinical or scientific issue to spur innovation in nephrology,” says Mark D. Okusa, MD, FASN, ASN President.
To complement the work of federal research funding agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, VA, and the Patient Centered Outcomes Institute, the ASN Foundation for Kidney Research was established in 2012. The Foundation provides more than $3,000,000 annually to young investigators, fellows, and nephrology educators who will fuel innovation and translate research and discovery into improved quality of life for patients.
Besides tangible member benefits, ASN offers hope to the 850,000,000 people with kidney diseases, excitement for the next generation of kidney health professionals, and more confidence amongst our industry partners that the kidney arena is ripe for investment.