The three winning products announced Monday are:
• an implantable Renal Assist Device (iRAD) being developed by the University of California, San Francisco;
• a Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK) in development by Blood Purification Technologies Inc. of Beverly Hills, Calif.; and
• a Hemoaccess Valve System (HVS) that has been designed by Greenville, S.C.-based CreatiVasc Medical.
The FDA chose end-stage renal disease for the program's next step because of the disease's cost to the healthcare system: more than half a million Americans suffer from the disease, with Medicare footing 75 percent of the $29 billion-a-year bill. Management of the disease is largely dependent upon medical-device technology, according to the FDA, such as hemodialysis equipment to remove waste products from the body.