April 11, 2022 – Kuleana Technology, Inc. (Kuleana), a Seattle Washington-based company, received the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Innovation Fund’s first dialysis investment. Kuleana is developing a groundbreaking portable hemodialysis device that will not require connection to an external water source and will not require complex sorbents. This device will be more effective than current dialysis since it will allow patients to dialyze on the go – enabling whenever, wherever dialysis for millions of patients worldwide.
“The kidney health landscape is broken and lacks needed innovation,” said Kevin Longino, chief executive officer of NKF and a kidney transplant recipient. “About 37 million Americans have kidney disease and many crash into kidney failure and require dialysis before ever being diagnosed. We need a fundamental change in how we deal with chronic kidney diseases. NKF’s Innovation Fund will provide donors with a unique opportunity to see their dollars support companies pursuing the most promising therapies, treatments and prevention methods that offer the potential to transform kidney care.”
Capitalizing on the prize-winning innovations and the extensive patent portfolio of the University of Washington’s Center for Dialysis Innovation (CDI), Kuleana is revolutionizing treatment technologies aimed at improving patient outcomes and enabling patients with chronic kidney failure to live life to the fullest. “Using the most promising biomaterials and bioengineering technologies and leveraging the CDI’s multi-disciplinary research teams and patient advisory board, Kuleana is transforming dialysis. Our solutions will keep dialysis patients healthier and productive, and they will lower costs to make sustainable dialysis accessible worldwide,” according to Kuleana’s Chief Technology Officer and CFO, Buddy D. Ratner, PhD.
NKF indicates that “10% of the population worldwide is affected by chronic kidney disease, and millions die each year because they do not have access to affordable treatment.” In upper income countries, like the US, only 60% of people who need dialysis have access to it. In lower and lower-to-middle income countries dialysis is available to between 1% and 4% of people who need it.
“We’re enthusiastic about the support NKF is providing Kuleana. Like NKF, we recognize that the unmet needs in hemodialysis are imperative – for the patient and for the economy. Progress over the last 62 years has been incremental and unimpressive. Patients want and deserve radically transformed treatment options that are safer, more effective, and that significantly improve their quality of life. Kuleana is a Hawaiian word conveying care, responsibility, accountability and reciprocity. These are the values that underpin everything we do”, said Dr. Jonathan Himmelfarb, Kuleana’s President and CEO.