“The Industry-IC invites private sector companies, entrepreneurs and academic leaders to contribute ideas for innovations”, with forward-looking areas of interest including “proposals to test utility and feasibility of employing wearable dialysis devices.”
“The VAi2 award is the initiation of a major paradigm shift in kidney dialysis,” said Dr Gordon Ku, Chairman of AWAK Technologies. “Wearable dialysis provides mobility to patients and promised improved quality of life”.
End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients require either dialysis or transplantation to survive. The United States Renal Data System, 2011 Atlas of CKD & ESRD documented 571,414 ESRD patients with a treatment cost of 42.5 billion dollars in 2009. A total of 398,861 patients were treated with dialysis, with the majority (365,556, 91.6%) receiving in-center hemodialysis. Home hemodialysis (4,511, 1%) and peritoneal dialysis (27,559, 7%) accounted for most of the remaining patients. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides dialysis annually for over 10,000 veterans. At least 3,200 veterans reach ESRD each year.
Dr David B. N. Lee, Professor Emeritus of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Director of the Laboratory of Artificial Kidney Innovation and Development, VAGLA Healthcare System, and Chief Scientist of AWAK Technologies commented,“AWAK provides round-the-clock dialysis and ultrafiltration, thus duplicating more closely the function of a normal kidney. This is expected to provide steady-state metabolic-biochemical and fluid balance regulation, thereby eliminating the “shocks” of abrupt changes in these parameters that characterize current dialytic modalities.“
“The AWAK trial will run from 2012 to 2013. The trial shall validate the safety and efficacy of the wearable, sorbent regeneration peritoneal-based dialysis system with an animal trial preceded by a series of in vitro and ex vivo studies.” says Dr Martin Roberts, Co-Director of the Laboratory for Artificial Kidney Innovation and Development, VAGLA Healthcare System, Principal Investigator of the VAi2 award, and Chief Scientist of AWAK Technologies.
“We share the mission of VAi2 to harness innovations for the benefits of the veterans. With AWAK, we deliver the concept of wearable dialysis to the world, empowering the ESRD patients to take charge of their life and lifestyle with cost-effective solutions,” said NEO Kok Beng, President and CEO of AWAK Technologies & Adjunct Associate Professor of Marketing, National University of Singapore.
About AWAK Technologies
AWAK Technologies Pte Ltd (awak.com) was incorporated in 2007, with offices in Singapore and Burbank, CA, and dedicated to the research, development and marketing of a peritoneal dialysis-based automated wearable artificial kidney for the treatment of patients with end-stage renal disease. It was founded by Dr Gordon Ku (Chairman of Kidney Dialysis Foundation), Dr David B. N. Lee and Dr Martin Roberts (both of the VAGLA Healthcare System and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA), and Mr Neo Kok Beng. Drs Roberts and Lee are co-inventors of the technology, which was exclusively licensed by the University of California at Los Angeles and the Department of Veteran Affairs to AWAK Technologies. The company collaborates with Temasek Polytechnic in the engineering and development of AWAK.