asian chinese senior man in wheelchair with face shield , face mask under dialysis treatment in hospital using smart phone
Source: Edwin Tan/Getty Images

Advanced kidney disease-focused healthcare company Fresenius Medical Care announced today it is launching a campaign aimed at enrolling patients in the kidney-focused genomics registry it launched last year. Dubbed My Reason, the campaign intends to speed recruitment of up 100,000 patients within five years, which would make it one of the largest data sets of its kind.

Participation will become a standard offering of Fresenius Kidney Care dialysis centers in the United States, and serve as a research tool that links genomic and clinical data of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end stage kidney disease (ESKD) participants. These data will help scientists better understand genetic variations in patients with kidney disease and promises to provide better therapies and more individualized care.

“My Reason will help us build a groundbreaking registry of people with advanced kidney disease from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds,” said Franklin W. Maddux, MD, global chief medical officer at Fresenius. “Pulled from such a large population of patients, when paired with existing clinical data, this data set at scale will help scientists untangle the complex interactions that lead to kidney injury and use genetic sequencing to better understand pathways of injury in kidney disease.”

Fresenius, which operates a global network of nearly 4,100 dialysis clinics, provides dialysis treatments to roughly 350,000—or about one-in-ten of all dialysis patients worldwide. It also provides dialysis products such as dialysis machines or dialyzers.

The kidney care specialist launched the genomic registry, it said, due to what it views as lagging research efforts in the field of nephrology despite advances in sequencing technology that has driven care advances in other fields such as cardiology, mental health, and oncology. The registry can help fill the gap for a large-scale repository of kidney disease that contains both phenotypic and genotypic data.

The increased effort to recruit patients for genomic testing comes as Fresenius is in the midst of a three-company merger that is intended to create a technology-driven provider of value-based kidney care. In the deal, announced in late March, Fresenius will merge with InterWell Health, a leading physician organization driving innovation in the kidney care industry, and Cricket Health, a provider of value based kidney care that leverages a patient engagement and data platform.

The new organization, which will operate under the InterWell Health name, is valued at $2.4 billion. With a total addressable market of $170 billion, more than $6 billion of medical costs under management, and over 100,000 covered lives, the new company will seek growth in the mid- and late-stage chronic kidney disease value based care population. By 2025, the company expects to engage and manage the care of more than 270,000 Americans living with kidney disease, increasing its medical costs under management to $11 billion.

Cricket Health’s StageSmart machine learning and predictive glomerular filtration rate (GFR) model (known as pGFR), will help fuel this growth across the combined kidney care network I the U.S. This technology, which boasts 96% accuracy, will enable the merged companies to identify and risk stratify patients prior to kidney failure. This will allow earlier interventions to slow disease progression and gives patients the time necessary to choose a treatment option that is right for them.

“At Cricket Health, our mission is to help our patients live their best lives. This combination advances our ability to do just that,” said Cricket Health CEO, Robert Sepucha in a press release announcing the new company. “Each patient’s situation and needs are unique, and the new organization will offer groundbreaking solutions from machine learning to highly personalized engagement that keep patients healthy, at home, and out of the hospital.”

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