Sending Office: Honorable Brian Babin
Sent By:

        Request for Signature(s)


Current Signers: Babin, Marino, DelBene,
J. Lewis, Sewell, D. Davis, DeFazio, Dunn

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to join us in co-signing a letter in support of Kidney X, a public-private partnership to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases to the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS,
Education and Related Agencies.

We are requesting that $25 million in matching funds be included for KidneyX, a public-private partnership spearheaded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related
Agencies Appropriations bill.

KidneyX is a patient-centered solution driven by an invested community.  KidneyX is a true public-private partnership: the private sector is committed to providing matching funds to achieve the total $250 million required for the first five years.  To date,
$25 million has been committed to KidneyX from the private sector.  KidneyX will issue its first round of seed funding using private contributions in 2018.  Now it is our turn to step up to the plate.

More than 40 million people in the United States are living with kidney diseases, and nearly 700,000 have kidney failure, for which there is no cure.  Despite the significant burden of kidney diseases, there has been a dearth of innovation in this space
compared to other areas of medicine.  Our healthcare system has fostered a sense of complacency with current therapies and technologies, and the bundled payment system for dialysis is a deterrent for innovators and investors to enter the kidney care space.

Treating and managing kidney diseases and kidney failure is costly to the federal government.   As the Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlighted in 2016, Medicare spent $33.9 billion to manage kidney failure through Medicare’s End Stage Renal Disease
(ESRD) program – more than 7 percent of all Medicare spending in 2015.[1] 

As outlined in our letter to the Appropriations Committee, KidneyX stimulates the commercialization of new therapies while providing a catalyst for investment by the private market in three specific ways that are not currently addressed by market forces
or federal efforts:

  • De-risks the commercialization process by fostering coordination among the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide a clear, predictable path towards commercialization
  • Provides non-dilutive funding to seed, incent, and accelerate breakthroughs to promising innovators, selected through a competitive process  
  • Offers participating innovators access to investors and business experts and repositions the kidney space as an attractive and untapped market

KidneyX will first incentivize the development and commercialization of an artificial kidney, and its portfolio will expand to include diagnostics, other devices, medications, and patient-centered tools to more effectively and efficiently manage kidney diseases.
 KidneyX is sustainable: revenue generated from breakthrough commercialized developments will be cycled back to support KidneyX.  Similar public-private accelerators, like the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X),
have shown great success in catalyzing private sector investment to transform another stagnant field.

Thank you for your consideration of this important request.  Should you have questions or need additional information, please contact Lauren Ziegler (Rep. Babin) at or 5-1555;
Matt Powell (Rep. Marino) at or 5-3731; or Kyle Hill (Rep. DelBene) at or 5-6311. This letter closes on
March 16, 2018.


Brian Babin (TX-36)
Member of Congress

Tom Marino (PA-10)                                                 
Co-Chair, Congressional Kidney Caucus                  

Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
Co-Chair, Congressional Kidney Caucus                              

[1] National Institutes of Health: Kidney Disease Research Funding and Priority Setting, GAO-17-121 (Dec. 2016)

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, HealthCare, Science

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