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What we did last year to...Make it count.

We sought more ways to speed up progress – pushing forward promising innovations, engaging decision makers and sharing vital new evidence – so that discoveries can be rapidly translated into better treatments and practices.

Investing in innovation

We are helping ensure researchers are given the skills and knowledge to translate their research into new treatments that are available to patients.

In 2022/23, we again supported Kalium Health with a £175,000 investment, as we had also previously done in 2021/22. We are part of a consortium of investors, enabling them to secure a total of £1.18 million to complete the product development and marketing strategy for a handheld patient potassium sensor.

Working with the ‘Edinburgh Innovations’ team at the University of Edinburgh we also launched a pilot co-funded innovation competition and awarded two grants to help develop ideas with commercial potential.

We continue to support researchers through initiatives such as our MedTech competitions which, in just two years, have provided 24 researchers with intensive commercialisation training, supporting ten research projects with commercial potential.

New treatment recommended for kidney patients with anaemia

We strive to find better treatments for kidney patients. And an exciting new recommended treatment for anaemia in adults with CKD can be traced directly back to preliminary research work led by our former trustee and Nobel prize winner Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe.

Anaemia is a common and serious complication of CKD which can cause debilitating fatigue. But the new medication, roxadustat, now offers a simplified and tolerable treatment for patients who are not receiving dialysis.

It works by stimulating the body to increase the production of red blood cells (often disrupted by kidney disease).

Recommended last year by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and available as an oral tablet, this treatment should reduce the need for iron and hormone injections.

Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe. Courtesy of Ludwig Cancer Research.
Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe. Courtesy of Ludwig Cancer Research.

Raising awareness among parliamentarians

Raising awareness of kidney disease among politicians is crucial to make it a priority for government and the NHS, paving the way for greater investment in research and improved access to innovative treatments.

We met with parliamentarians one-to-one, at meetings and events, engaged with parliamentary committees and provided in-depth evidence in response to government consultations.

In Westminster, we co-hosted a reception attended by over 75 politicians. In Scotland, we published a policy report on kidney disease, spoke to over 50 MSPs at a stand in Parliament, and organised a ministerial roundtable. And we rallied our supporters, resulting in over 320 individuals contacting their MPs to ask them to support the earlier detection of kidney disease.

Revealing a public health emergency

It is vital that everyone understands the true cost of kidney disease, so in autumn 2022, work started on a major new report into the economic impact of kidney disease in the UK.

The last significant review focused on England and was published in 2012 but has continued to impact health policy.

The new report was independently produced by ZS Associates, a consulting firm with specialist health economics expertise. Sponsorship from five industry partners helped fund the work, with 30 stakeholders, including NHS clinicians, academics, researchers and patients being consulted, and an advisory steering group of leading experts overseeing the report through to completion.

The report was a major focus for the financial year and was published in June 2023. It reveals the true economic impact of kidney disease, makes some stark predictions for the next ten years and reveals why we’re calling for urgent government action.

Front cover of the annual report. White backgroun with side view of muslin female doctor looking into a microsope

Annual report 2022-23

Read more from our annual report to find out how we're investing in research, awareness, and education to accelerate growth that will bring benefit to patients both now and in the future.

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