Startup Company Developing Proprietary Process to Reset the Clock on Donated Kidneys
October 24, New York, NY —The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Innovation Fund, the philanthropic impact investment program of NKF, today announced a new investment that could have a major impact in kidney transplantation in the United States. 34 Lives, formerly Renovera, has received an investment from NKF to accelerate the development of a proprietary process to rehabilitate donated kidneys for transplantation.
“Every day in the U.S., approximately 34 lives are lost waiting for an organ transplant,” explained Chris Jaynes, founder and chief executive officer of 34 Lives. “There are 120,000 Americans on organ transplant waiting lists and 84 percent of those are waiting for a kidney. They wait and they wait – on average for six years. That’s why we named our company 34 Lives, it’s our name and our mission.”
Nearly 30 percent of the 20,000 kidneys recovered for transplant each year are discarded before they reach the recipient. While kidneys can be discarded for a number of reasons, time is often a major factor. Giving donated kidneys “more time” is a key element of the 34 Lives process.
Current federal standards require kidneys are out of the body no longer than 20 hours to be viable for transplant. But the logistics and coordination to connect patients with a donated kidney are fraught with complications. Kidneys are transported to hospitals in ice coolers on commercial airlines. Flights can be delayed or missed. Additionally, the surgeon, or even recipient, may not be able to get to the hospital before the 20-hour limit expires.
The 34 Lives team brings kidneys back up to normal body temperature so they can be measured for function. Donated kidneys can then be treated with nutrition allowing them to be suitable for transplantation. The company believes in roughly 80% of cases, they can use their processes to “reset the clock,” allowing for an additional 20 hours of viability for delivery and transplantation.
“The kidneys can be put on ice again for another 20 hours to get to the transplant hospital and be transplanted successfully, added Jaynes. “We’re basically giving the kidney more time.”
“When we launched the NKF Innovation Fund in April, it was with the idea that we needed to disrupt the kidney care landscape” said Kevin Longino, chief executive officer of NKF and a kidney transplant patient. “34 Lives processes are precisely what we had in mind. The potential to save lives here is just incredible and NKF is honored to help fund its development.”
Launched in 2022, the NKF Innovation Fund works to accelerate funding, development, and commercialization of therapies that kidney patients need and deserve. The fund invests in early to mid-stage companies that are developing innovative, patient-centric kidney therapies. The long-term goals of the NKF Innovation Fund are to prevent kidney disease, eliminate the transplant wait list, and provide better, safer treatments for dialysis patients so they can live fuller and more productive lives. For more information about the NKF Innovation Fund, visit kidney.org/innovationfund
About Kidney Disease
In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney disease—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity,and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are almost 4 times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure. Hispanics are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.
About National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org.
About 34 Lives, PBC
34 Lives, formerly Renovera, is a Public Benefit Corporation, which is a company that prioritizes societal benefits over profits. 34 Lives is committed to saving and dramatically improving the lives of more than 120,000 individuals waiting for lifesaving organ transplants, 84% of whom are waiting for kidneys. 34 Lives’ innovative processes and services will extend the safe preservation times to the thousands of discarded kidneys each year, saving lives that would otherwise be lost on the waitlist.