IVIVA Medical, a biotech startup that develops living therapeutics to cure patients with organ failure, has won a Phase 2 KidneyX Prize from the Kidney Innovation Accelerator, a public-private partnership between the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for its work developing a fully implantable bioartificial kidney – using 3D printing. As part of the prize, IVIVA will be awarded $1 million to advance its research and develop cell-based living therapeutics that replace the kidney’s most essential functions.
According to IVIVA Medical, 850 million people worldwide have kidney diseases including 37 million Americans. In the United States alone, treatment costs total more than $100 billion a year. Management and maintenance therapies are ongoing, expensive, and often undermine the person’s quality of life. The only hope for these patients is an organ transplant. Unfortunately, the shortage of available organs causes patients to spend an average of 5 or more years on the waitlist, and many die before receiving surgery. IVIVA Medical is working to transform the status quo by developing fully implantable bioartificial organs that can offer patients with organ dysfunction a cure and a normal life.
“Patients with renal failure experience not only the impact of their disease but the inevitable side effects of existing treatments because transplant organs are only available for a few lucky recipients. We’re working to transform organ replacement. Because we build these implants from patient-derived cells, there will be no need for long-term immunosuppression, no risk for rejection, and no donor organ shortage,” said Harald Ott Founder and CEO of IVIVA Medical. “We are excited to join the KidneyX community and are grateful for the support of the Department of Health and Human Services and the American Society of Nephrology. Receiving one of the KidneyX awards will help us to mature our technology and improve patients’ lives.”
The development of a fully functional bioartificial kidney has proven difficult in the past because of the overall complexity of the organ, which is made up of a multitude of cell types and performs several important functions. Thanks to the KidneyX prize, IVIVA will be able to advance its technology and address the organ transplant shortage.
“Kidney diseases are common, serious, and deadly. People with kidney diseases have demanded innovative treatment technologies and management strategies to replace dialysis, which has changed slowly and incrementally over 50 years. The nephrology scientific community has responded with a pipeline of discoveries that promise to revolutionize kidney care. The Artificial Kidney Prize Phase 2 winners highlight paradigm-shifting solutions in xenotransplantation and regenerative medicine that are being developed to reduce the burdens of kidney disease,” said John R. Sedor, MD, FASN, KidneyX Steering Committee Chair.
“HHS is excited and still remains committed to the partnership and advancing kidney care. With the close of the Artificial Kidney Prize Phase 2, I couldn’t be more thrilled to congratulate the winners of the competition. This prize competition is leading us into the next steps for advancements and solutions in the artificial kidney developments,” said Admiral Rachel L. Levine, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health.