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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. 

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