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The University of Utah and RenalytixAI Partner to Drive Innovation in Kidney Health

March 1, 2021

Utah’s RenalytixAI and the University of Utah last week announced a partnership to improve kidney health and reduce the risk of kidney failure for large scale populations in the earliest stages of kidney disease.

The partnership intends to implement RenalytixAI’s in vitro diagnostic platform, KidneyIntelX, in combination with a range of advanced clinical management solutions to optimize patient care and drive towards improved outcomes system-wide at University of Utah Health, which serves millions of patients in six states. KidneyIntelX is designed for the identification of adults with early-stage chronic kidney disease and diabetes who are at risk for progressive kidney function decline or kidney failure.

“RenalytixAI is a unique and ideal partner to engage in a multi-dimensional collaboration like this…,” said Keith Marmer, chief innovation and economic engagement officer, University of Utah.

Core to this partnership is the implementation of care navigation and pharmacy programs, behavioral and health economic assessments, together with data-driven analytics. KidneyIntelX will be deployed directly into the electronic health records (EHR) system at University of Utah Health, enabling access to more than 1,700 clinicians for seamless test ordering and patient risk score reporting as part of the standard clinical workflow.

The RenalytixAI and University of Utah partnership was facilitated by the University’s designated office for industry relations, The Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center.

“University of Utah’s clinical and translational expertise presents an ideal opportunity to interrupt the devastating and costly effects of progressive chronic kidney disease from its earliest stages…said James McCullough, chief executive officer, RenalytixAI.

This partnership follows RenalytixAI’s establishment of a new commercial laboratory in the University of Utah’s Research Park in 2020 and demonstrates the continued growth of RenalytixAI’s operations for the western United States. RenalytixAI intends to rapidly expand employees and infrastructure in the state and accelerate the availability of advanced precision medicine diagnostics for Utah diabetes and kidney disease patients.

“This kind of collaboration is a signature of Utah’s life sciences ecosystem,” said Kelvyn Cullimore, President and CEO of BioUtah. “The ability to collaborate and work together to innovate and improve patients’ lives is part of our state’s secret sauce.”

“The entrepreneurial, can-do spirit of the partners, coupled with unique technology and research capacities, will potentially enable new advances in patient care…” noted Katelin Roberts, interim director of BioHive, a thriving collective of more than 1,100 Utah life sciences companies.

Kidney disease is now recognized as a public health epidemic affecting over 850 million people globally. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 15% of US adults, or 37 million people, currently have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Kidney disease is referred to as a “silent killer” because it often has no symptoms and can go undetected until a very advanced stage. Each year, kidney disease kills more people than breast and prostate cancer. Every day, 13 patients in the United States die while waiting for a kidney transplant.