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2018 Innovation Award Winner

New blood filter therapy for kidney patients wins innovation award

A new haemodialysis (blood filter) therapy that has the potential to significantly advance renal (kidney) care for patients in New Zealand has won the James & Wells Medical Technology Association of New Zealand (MTANZ) Innovation Award for 2018.

Baxter Healthcare received the award for its HDx enabled by Theranova haemodialysis (HD) therapy from Jonathan Lucas, partner at James & Wells, at the Health Tech Week Gala Dinner last night (June 12).

More than 1700 New Zealanders receive haemodialysis treatment. Patients with end-stage renal disease on haemodialysis are at increased mortality risk compared to the general population.

Conventional haemodialysis is effective at removing small toxins, such as urea, but is ineffective at removing a class of uremic toxins known as large middle molecules. Large middle molecules may affect a range of biological functions, including inflammation, secondary immunodeficiency and cardiovascular (heart disease) risk.

Theranova is an innovative dialyser. It more closely mimics the natural kidney compared with other dialysis membranes. Theranova extends the range of toxins that can be filtered from the blood during haemodialysis for the first time without significant albumin loss. Once these toxins have been effectively removed, the patient is at less risk of infections and hospitalisation.

This technology is unique in New Zealand and global markets. The therapy is designed to work with most haemodialysis machines. This allows clinics to offer HDx therapy using existing resources and staff.


“MTANZ believes these awards, which are open to both imported and locally developed medical technology, show the tremendous innovation in the NZ health technology market. Innovation is so essential to deliver better outcomes for patients and improve efficiencies in the NZ healthcare system,” says MTANZ chief executive Faye Sumner, CNZM.

The awards were judged by Anne Kolbe ONZM, Distinguished Professor Peter Hunter ONZM and Professor John Windsor on the product’s significant contribution to improving patient outcomes by enhancing quality of life, as well as evidence of technical excellence and innovation.
The full list of finalists follows:
Medtronic – MicraTM Transcatheter Pacing System
Philips – Ilumeo imaging and informatics technology
Philips – IQon Spectral CT