The Inaugural Future of Transplantation Meeting

This guest blog post was written by Anil Chandraker, MD.

We held our first Future of Transplantation meeting last month, and I had the privilege of chairing the Program Planning Committee. This meeting was designed to engage with biotech and corporate stakeholders in our field and address the unmet needs in kidney transplantation. While transplantation has seen many advances, continued innovation and product development remain challenging due to concerns about market size, regulatory requirements, and the ability to measure impact on long-term graft and patient survival.

This meeting came together thanks to a partnership with CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services and enthusiasm from industry partners about advancing the field to improve outcomes for our patients. Nearly 100 people attended this meeting. The meeting program was designed to showcase the specific areas where innovation is needed in kidney transplantation and encourage those in the transplant industry to take a more innovative approach to the development of new therapeutics and diagnostics.

Over the past few decades, transplantation has made significant progress, however, continued innovation is key to turning this progress into clinical utilization. As transplantation is a relatively small field, it is essential that we collaborate to push the field forward.

Many important topics were discussed at the meeting with participation from basic scientists, clinical researchers, clinicians, industry partners along with the FDA, The Transplant Therapeutics Consortium, and patients. This first meeting was focused on short and long-term unmet needs in kidney transplantation.

Members can access the meeting recording here.

  • Biomarkers in Transplantation - I had the opportunity to moderate a session on the current biomarker landscape in transplantation. The discussion included talks on clinical trial endpoints, biomarkers for rejection diagnosis, biomarkers for transplant tolerance, and personalized medicine.  
  • Transplant Clinical Trials – This talk outlined potential changes in clinical research trials' design, conduct, and analysis along with the patient’s perspective.
  • Cellular Therapies in Transplant - This session focused on gene modification approaches, cells that can be used to suppress anti-graft responses, and immunosuppression-related infectious complications.
  • Immunosuppression and Treatment of Rejection - The immunosuppression approach has largely been one size fits all; however, there is still much that can be improved. The session fostered a great discussion about potential improvements to the current model.
  • Perfusion Technologies and Delayed Graft Function - This talk outlined current approaches to minimizing delayed graft function and placed them in a broader context of their potential value.
  • Organ Replacement- Xenotransplantation/Artificial Organs/Biological Solutions – This session explored the current status of alternatives to human kidney transplantation, as well as how they might eventually be used in clinical practice. 

We must work together with industry partners to advance the field. It was inspiring to see our community come together to thoughtfully address what needs to be done next.

Thank you to the attendees, speakers, and planning committee who made this meeting possible. I look forward to future collaborations.

 

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