The Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that it will establish a public-private fund to help move new technology forward in treating kidney disease.

Called the Kidney Innovation Accelerator, the fund “would be capable of seeding and accelerating not just incremental improvements in treating kidney disease, but will foster real breakthroughs in dialysis and other treatments for kidney disease,” according to a statement released by HHS. The Accelerator will also bring together all the key components and funding opportunities from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Institutes of Health, and HHS to “ensure that the path to commercialization is straight and clear,” HHS said.

The project was unveiled at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2017, held in New Orleans from Nov. 1-5, by Bruce D. Greenstein, the Chief Technology Officer for HHS. Greenstein said he had a personal interest in the Accelerator, having helped his mother through 14 years of dialysis treatments before she died.

“I saw almost no difference in how she was treated in the first year on dialysis and in the 14th year…there is not a lot of money being invested in this community,” he said.

Of more than 100 recent approvals by the FDA for new drugs, not one was for kidney disease. “The idea here is to bring disjointed programs” like the NIH and FDA together to provide research dollars for new product development and offer a regulatory environment that would help speed up getting the new products to the market.

Individuals that are interested in learning more or have an idea are encouraged to contact HHS at kidneyX@hhs.gov.