Major Milestone Achieved for the Implantable Bioartificial Kidney
The Kidney Project announced some interesting news related to the development of the Implantable Bioartificial Kidney on November 7, 2019 during their presentation at Kidney Week.
For those new to the bioartificial kidney, it is similar to the wearable artificial kidney technology, except it’s designed to be implanted into your body. It consists of two primary components, the hemofilter and the bioreactor.
The big news coming out of Kidney Week is that they were able to implant the bioreactor component into large animals without ‘any significant safety concerns’. There were no blood clots or immune system reactions.
What does this mean?
This was a major hurdle that they needed to pass to get approval for clinical trials. Now with that taken care of, they can now go forward with testing the device in humans. What I don’t know is if this test is for only the bioreactor or if it’s for the combined device. Since the article states the hemofilter is still awaiting FDA approval, I suspect the first clinical trials will be just for the bioreactor portion. Either way, it is big news and a great step forward for a project that has been hitting it’s share of obstacles over the years.
When are the trials?
It’s sounding like they will start signing people up sometime in the next 3 to 4 months, with the actual testing set to begin in 11 months. This being November, means we can hope to have the first test candidates to be signed up sometime around March or April of 2020, with the tests set to begin in October.
Obviously there can be setbacks in the timing, but this is good news regardless.
So where can I get information on this device?
Actual news releases on the bioartificial kidney are far and few between, but refer to the Kidney Project’s homepage (see the links at the bottom of this page) for all official information. Fortunately the last few weeks saw some some interesting updates for us thirsting for information. The afforementioned milestone achievement was the big news, but a few weeks before that Dr. Shuvo Roy of UCSF and Dr. William H. Fizzel of Vanderbilt University shared an update on the progress of the device during a live Q & A on Facebook.