Country for PR: United States
Contributor: PR Newswire New York
Saturday, September 18 2021 - 09:53
Global Kidney Innovation Summit Accelerates International Consortium
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

--Patient Needs and Insights Drive New Era of Global Kidney Research, 
Discovery, and Personalized Treatments

The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), the largest independent 
kidney patient organization in the USA, and its strategic partners at the 
George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) 
continue to make a unique impact in the international battle against kidney 
diseases. Their 2021 annual Global Summit on Kidney Disease Innovations focused 
on expanding patient consumer choices and improved health outcomes, engaged a 
combined audience of over 20,000 viewers across 80 countries, exceeded their 
2020 virtual attendance record established at the height of the COVID-19 
pandemic, and continues to draw viewers worldwide to their online content ( 
). The Global Summit is a key component of AAKP's The Decade of the Kidney(TM) 
), an AAKP global initiative (read article ( 
)) launched in 2019 for the 2020-2030 decade to help U.S. and international 
policymakers better address the devastating human and societal costs of kidney 
diseases based on patient-defined priorities.

Logo - 

The Global Summit has accelerated engagement in an expanding international 
consortium of influencers, led by patient consumers and advocates, committed to 
a new era in kidney medicine marked by more inclusive clinical trials, greater 
use of patient insight data, personalized medicine, and disruptive technologies 
including artificial implantable and wearable kidneys. The patient-led 
consortium includes academic and medical researchers, clinical trial designers, 
innovators, capital market investors, companies, non-governmental and 
faith-based organizations, as well as elected and appointed government leaders 
across the globe. Kidney patients worldwide are demanding an end to outdated 
dialysis care, characterized by staggeringly high mortality rates, and greater 
access to new products and solutions aimed at detecting, preventing, and 
treating kidney diseases earlier and in ways that improve quality of life and 
decrease dependency and disease-related unemployment. They are also organizing 
and coordinating their policy and grassroots efforts in a sophisticated effort 
to advance more common sense regulatory and payment reforms that prioritize 
patient needs and fully support the timely entry of new, safe products into 
global consumer markets. Based on the ongoing success and rapidly expanding 
interest in The Global Summit, AAKP and GWU have already opened 
pre-registration for the May 2022 Global Summit on Kidney Disease Innovations ( 
). All 2021 Global Summit virtual presentations are available OnDemand through 
the AAKP website ( 
) and AAKP YouTube channel ( 

Dr. Dominic Raj, Co-Chair of The Global Summit, a Professor of Medicine, 
Biochemistry and Genetics and Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and Director of 
the Division of Kidney Diseases and Hypertension at the George Washington 
University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, stated, "As a researcher in 
molecular biology and genetics, I seek to personalize medicine by genes and 
molecular pathways, but I think it is more important to personalize by patient 
needs. This, I believe, is the key take home message from The Global Summit and 
I am very proud of my colleagues across the globe who are actively 
incorporating the unique insights of kidney  patients in their research and 
discovery of new therapies to prevent and treat the growing spread of kidney 

Hilde Vautmans, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Chair of MEP Kidney 
Health, and Deputy Coordinator for the Committee on Foreign Affairs for a Renew 
Europe (EU) provided a virtual presentation ( 
) in which she praised kidney patients worldwide for their efforts to work 
alongside government leaders in the fight against kidney diseases. Further, 
Vautmans invited greater cooperation among elected leaders in the European 
Parliament and the U.S. Congress, especially among like-minded members of the 
U.S. Congressional Kidney Caucus, stating, "This battle is difficult. And I can 
speak from experience here, but […] change is possible […] but we can and have 
to act more. In Europe but also in the United States. I always say we need more 
awareness, more funding and more innovation. Today I want to add a fourth 
element and that is collaboration, because as we all are aware and all are 
witnessing, diseases know no borders. So, let's work together […]We share a 
common goal, on both sides of the Atlantic: We must further improve the lives 
of people with Kidney Disease!"

The 2021 Global Summit included over 15 panels featuring over 40 patient and 
medical experts along with a menu 29 expert videos covering COVID-19 
kidney-related issues, diversity in clinical trials, APOL-1 genetic research, 
diabetic kidney disease (DKD), nutrition, and telemedicine. Executives from top 
companies in the kidney space underscored the importance and value of patient 
insights in science, discovery, and the development of new drugs, devices, and 
diagnostics. Emphasizing the key role patients play in the new era of kidney 
medicine were leaders from Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Baxter International Inc., 
bioMérieux, CareDx, Inc., CSL Behringer, Novartis, and Sangamo Therapeutics, 
Inc. They were joined by key policy and innovation leaders including Barbara L. 
Bass, MD, Vice President for Health Affairs, Dean of the GW School of Medicine 
and Health Sciences, and CEO of the GW Medical Faculty Associates (USA); 
Vivekanand Jha, MBBS, MD, DM, PHD, FRCP, FAMS; Executive Director, The George 
Institute for Global Health (AU) and President, International Society of 
Nephrology (IND); Fokko Wieringa, PhD, Principal Scientist, IMEC of The 
Netherlands and the Dutch Kidney Foundation (EU) and a member of The Kidney 
Health Initiative (USA); Murray Sheldon, MD, Associate Director for Technology 
and Innovations, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, U.S. Food and Drug 
Administration (USA); Jack Kalavritinos, Founder and Principal, JK Consulting 
and member of the APCO Worldwide International Advisory Council and Health 
Advisory Board (USA). 

Richard Knight, President of the American Association of Kidney Patients, a 
former hemodialysis patient and 14-year kidney transplant recipient, stated, 
"Kidney disease is a devastating disease that is rapidly expanding and 
negatively impacting patients, families, and economies throughout the world. 
Future innovations in kidney medicine depend upon greater patient engagement 
through fully inclusive clinical trials and research, and the GW School of 
Medicine and Health Sciences is an established global leader in this field. I 
thank Dean Dr. Barbara Bass, Dr. Dominic Raj, and our new European Union ally 
Hilde Vautmans for their deep respect for patients and their concerted efforts 
to unite patients, clinicians, and policy-makers in the fight against all 
kidney diseases." Knight (read CJASN article ( 
)) is a former U.S. Congressional staff member and business consultant who 
serves on the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of 
Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Advisory Council, and as the 
Co-Chair of the Community Engagement Committee for the Kidney Precision 
Medicine Project (KPMP). 

Paul T. Conway, Co-Chair of The Global Summit and AAKP Chair of Policy and 
Global Affairs, a former peritoneal dialysis patient and 24-year kidney 
transplant recipient, stated, "AAKP and our friend and ally Dr. Dominic Raj 
envisioned The Global Summit on Kidney Innovations as a unique international 
event aimed at accelerating cooperation among patients, researchers, 
clinicians, and policy professionals. Kidney patient consumers worldwide demand 
and deserve far greater care choice and are well aware of the value they bring 
as partners to pioneers developing the next generation of diagnostics, devices, 
and biologics. AAKP has expanded our collaborations with patient groups 
worldwide to advance innovation and to support all who share our sense of 
urgency and intent to transcend legislative, regulatory, and payment barriers 
that limit care choice and delay entry of new, safe treatments into the global 
consumer markets." Conway (read CJASN article ( 
)) is a former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor and serves on the 
External Expert Panel of National Institutes of Health (NIH), National 
Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Kidney 
Precision Medicine Project (KPMP), the American Board of Internal Medicine's 
Nephrology Specialty Board, and is a Patient Voice Editor for The Clinical 
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

AAKP has formal partnerships with the multiple international kidney patient 
organizations including in support of The Global Summit, The Decade of the 
Kidney(TM), and the growing international kidney innovation consortium, 
including: Argentina-based Asociacion Solidaria de Insuficientes Renales (ASIR) 
); European Kidney Patients' Federation (EKPF) and the European Kidney Health 
Alliance (EKHA) ( 
); and United Kingdom-based Renal Patient Support Group ( 
). AAKP will be announcing multiple additional global partnerships throughout 
the remainder of 2021 and 2022. AAKP leaders and their global allies have 
carried the key messages of The Global Summit into other global forums, 
including the University of Washington's Center for Dialysis Innovation's 
recent IDEAS Summit, where Dr. Murray Sheldon of the U.S. Food and Drug 
Administration conducted a presentation on the expanding international kidney 
innovation consortium ( 
). Future presentations on the key learnings and messages of The Global Summit 
and the international kidney innovation consortium will be conducted at the 
AAKP Annual National Patient Meeting ( 
) September 24-25, 2021, and at the American Society of Nephrology's, 2021 
Kidney Week ( 
), November 4-7, the largest kidney professional conference in the world. 
Voices in support of AAKP's expanding global partnerships and international 
collaborations include:

Mr. Colm Clifford, kidney patient and AAKP Global Ambassador in the Republic of 
Ireland: "Change happens when a collective voice sends a strong message that 
change is required. This begins from the grassroots. While it may eventually be 
signed off with the stroke of a pen, it's the strong collective voice that 
can't be ignored that drives that to happen. In kidney disease, after The 
Global Summit, I'm confident we really are moving forward and it's an exciting 
time to be involved."

Daniel Gallego, President of the European Kidney Patients' Federation (EKPF): 
"We are more than happy that the AAKP reached out to us to enforce the 
collaboration of kidney patients worldwide to really give a push for innovation 
and new therapies that will enhance quality of life of kidney patients, 
contributing to expand our daily life activities. EKPF strongly believes that 
in creating these therapies, patients should be included and in the driver's 
seat to reach next level therapies. Together we can create and extend a 
platform that is responsible for the long-overdue innovation that kidney 
patients are waiting for."

Raymond Vanholder, President of the European Kidney Health Alliance (EKHA): 
"Collaboration for improvement of kidney therapies can really benefit by moving 
boundaries. We are delighted with the expansion of our international 
collaboration by teaming up with AAKP. At EKHA we strongly believe in the 
empowerment of patients to enhance quality of life where possible. We therefore 
adopted their 'Decade of the Kidney' program to create awareness for the unmet 
needs of kidney patients. An important part of this collaboration will exist in 
setting the political agenda at the level of the EU and USA to push for real 
innovative therapies and corresponding funding to realize them."

Dr. Maria Eugenia Vivado Duran, President of the Argentina-based Asociación 
Solidaria de Insuficientes Renales of Buenos Aires; AAKP Global Ambassador: 
"ASIR joins together with AAKP in support of the rights of the kidney patients 
and to share in efforts to further medical innovations that will better prevent 
and treat kidney diseases and improve the quality of life for kidney patients." 
Dr. Vivado Duran, a pediatrician and AAKP Global Ambassador, was diagnosed with 
kidney disease in 1979 during her second pregnancy. She was on hemodialysis for 
many years and in 2001, received a kidney transplant from a deceased donor, 
allowing her to continue working for patients, educating the community, and 
enjoying her family. She has been president of ASIR for four consecutive terms 
and does everything in gratitude to her anonymous kidney donor. 

Dr. Shahid Nazir Muhammad, Specialist Biomedical Scientist, The University of 
the West of England (UWE) and Academic Lead, on behalf of The Renal Patient 
Support Group (RPSG), United Kingdom: "Future research integrating perceptions 
to acknowledge CKD as a condition with diverse morbidities and investigations 
to explore educational needs is mission critical. The Renal Patient Support 
Group (RPSG) is a place where awareness and research meet and encourages 
healthcare service and support in comprehensible proportions. Innovation is 
good to an extent. However, timely and targeted education relating CKD and 
recommendations with a solid focus is where best practice between pediatric and 
adult nephrology, tackling health inequalities is pinnacle to ensure that CKD 
patients are not forgotten and become unpeople (disenfranchised), and there is 
kidney disease awareness on an international level."

Ms. Vasundhara Raghavan, caregiver to a son with kidney disease and the AAKP 
Global Ambassador in the United Arab Emirates: "An international consortium of 
kidney patient organizations will be a catalyst to drive many innovations and 
bring in much-needed changes in the kidney patient ecosystem. The consortium 
can help execute cross border treatments for paired kidney transplants possible 
through an international donor bank. Sharing of best practices, knowledge, and 
resources will aid the kidney patient community immensely. A collaborative 
platform such as this will help us gather momentum in kidney research, patient 
advocacy, and provide financial aid to needy patients. The needs of kidney 
patients are best expressed by them. They are going through the arduous journey 
and having firsthand knowledge of what works best for them. Patients driving 
these discussions will help bring conclusive decisions on policy matters 
directly impacting them. Through this platform they will have a channel to 
voice their opinions and get to share their experiences to a wider community. 
Getting patients involved early on in these discussions is extremely critical 
and the value addition that they will provide to the conversation will be 
vastly practical."

AAKP and GW SMHS thank their 2021 Global Summit sponsors. Gold Level: Horizon 
Therapeutics and Travere Therapeutics; Silver Level: CareDx, Inc.; Patron 
Level: Hansa Biopharma and Sanofi Genzyme; and Supporting Level: AstraZeneca 
and Eurofins Transplant Genomics. Information on the 2022 Global Summit is 
available at ( 

About the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP): Since 1969, AAKP has 
been a patient-led organization driving policy discussions on kidney patient 
consumer care choice and treatment innovation. By 1973, AAKP patients had 
collaborated with the U.S. Congress and White House to establish dialysis 
coverage for any person suffering kidney failure, a U.S. taxpayer supported 
effort that has saved over one million lives. In 2018, AAKP established the 
largest U.S. kidney voter registration program, KidneyVoters ( 
 )(TM).  Over the past decade, AAKP patients have helped gain lifetime 
transplant drug coverage for kidney transplant recipients (2020); new 
patient-centered policies via the White House Executive Order on Advancing 
American Kidney Health (2019); new job protections for living organ donors from 
the U.S. Department of Labor (2018); and Congressional legislation allowing HIV 
positive organ transplants for HIV positive patients (2013). Follow AAKP on 
social media at @kidneypatient ( 
) on Facebook, @kidneypatients ( 
) on Twitter, and @kidneypatients ( 
) on Instagram, and visit The Global Summit on Kidney Disease 
Innovations is produced by AAKP's national strategic media partner, Briar Patch 
Media ( 
), which provides creative consulting and full-service media video production 
and post-production for corporations, non-profit organizations, individuals 
throughout the U.S., and several international locations.

About the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences: 
Founded in 1824, the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health 
Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation's capital and is the 
11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation's capital, with 
integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and 
well-being of our local, national, and global communities. Visit their website 
at ( 

Jennifer Rate
Marketing & Communications Manager

SOURCE: American Association of Kidney Patients