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Recent years have seen a surge of research into rarer forms of kidney disease, with drug companies, regulators, and researchers alike hunting for ways to help patients who have few options.

Much of that progress can be traced to the early strategy of the Kidney Health Initiative, a public-private partnership.The partnership, formed in September 2012 by the American Society of Nephrology and the Food and Drug Administration, made one of its first priorities trying to help dissolve some of the regulatory impediments to drug development, said Jula Inrig, a nephrologist who served on the KHI board of directors in those early days. 


“What we did is we brought sponsors, we brought regulators, patients, industry and academicians together to say, what’s it going to take to move our field forward, to be an innovative type of specialty?” said Inrig, who earlier this year was named chief medical officer of Travere Therapeutics, a biopharma company (formerly known as Retrophin) seeking FDA approval for a therapy for a rare form of kidney disease called IgA nephropathy, or IgAN. 

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