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Driving progress for kidney patients: Industry Day 2023

12 July 2023

Kidney Research UK’s Industry Day was held on 6 July 2023, at the Royal College of Surgeons, London. With 90 delegates in attendance from the life science industry, charity and research alongside members of the kidney patient community, we were delighted to showcase our progress this year and make plans for future collaborations. 

Transforming kidney treatments by working together

Following an opening address from our chief executive, Sandra Currie, attendees heard about the wide range of approaches Kidney Research UK is supporting to bring much-needed improvements to the kidney patient community. Particular attention was paid to our recent report into the economic impact of kidney disease Kidney disease: A UK public health emergency.

This independently-produced report confirmed the immediate need for progress in preventing, diagnosis and managing CKD for our patients. Among the concerning numbers reported, by 2033, the number of people in need of dialysis treatment could rise to as much as 143,000 – meaning existing healthcare capacity would need to grow by almost 400% to meet essential demand.

Billy Cole, Life sciences partnership manager at Kidney Research UK noted “We know that kidney disease is a huge problem in the UK, and our new report shows that without substantial research investment and support this situation will only worsen. In order to meet this challenge everyone involved in kidney disease needs to work together; events such as Industry Day demonstrate how successful this approach can be and encourages further important collaborations”. 

What is industry day?

Industry day is an in-person meeting between Kidney Research UK, life science companies, clinical and academic researchers and patients. Designed to speed up innovation and support collaborations between industry and the wider research community, it enables the progression of partnership working. This helps us to make sure much-needed progress and improvements in kidney disease happen; Industry Day is a key date in our annual calendar. 

Alongside presentations and debates, conversations between delegates were encouraged during lunch and breakout times. We look forward to reporting on new initiatives arising from this event very soon. 

Image of delegates at tables during a presentation
Mae Smith presenting on stage to room of delagates

Ensuring patient opinions are heard

Patient views are essential to inform better treatments and care for kidney patients. Delegates heard from Mae Law, public and patient involvement manager at Kidney Research UK, alongside other patient representatives about their views on how best to support development of new and better treatments.

Billy added “We know that by bringing university, NHS and private company researchers together we can support some really important new initiatives, but it is crucial to make sure that patient voices are heard. By working so closely with the kidney patient community, Kidney Research UK ensure that the research we support is designed to meet the needs of those living with kidney disease and will offer the change our patients need. 

Showcasing projects designed to benefit the kidney patient community

Key Kidney Research UK collaborations were discussed, including: 

StAFF-PAVia: new research study designed to show the best option for long-lasting access to blood vessels for patients who require haemodialysis but may not do well with standard approaches 

NURTuRE: a secure resource of biological samples and patient data designed to support innovation in kidney disease 

Health inequalities: Kidney Research UK’s evidence-based, multi-award-winning peer educator initiative provides real world solutions to addressing heath inequalities among at-risk patients and communities. Charity champions engage with, and empower, their peers through a truly collaborative partnership approach 

Building research communities through our network programme: our recent initiative to maximise the use of UK-held kidney datasets to benefit patients was presented by Dr Miranda Scanlon 

Kidney Policy Forumwith representatives from charities and industry, it aims to raise the profile of kidney disease and address key policy issues on prevention and early diagnosis of kidney disease, address health inequalities and make chronic kidney disease a political priority 

Introducing Billy, our Life Sciences Partnership Manager

Billy joined Kidney Research UK in 2021 and leads our Industry Partnership Programme. Designed to bring together different organisations and expertise to speed up the translation of research into new and better treatments, therapies and diagnostics for kidney disease, Billy’s focus in on ensuring that breakthroughs benefit patients faster and that their needs are met. You can read more about this work here.

We are grateful to our event sponsors: Mills & Reeve. 

William Cole presenting on stage with screen behind
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