Building a foundation for future therapies through state of the art biomedical technology

The BIRDIE project was formulated with an emphasis of bringing broad societal impact from the development of state-of-the-art biomedical technology. Our vision is that the humanized kidney in vitro models developed within the BIRDIE project will allow further understanding of kidney disease while supporting future therapies for patients. Furthermore, the aimed in vitro models will be essential to test new therapies administered to patients (e.g. during drug development) or ultimately being able to generate patient-specific in vitro models (derived for iPSCs generated from patient cells) allowing personalized medicine approaches. 

Advisory board

The French Society of Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation (FSNDT) is the association of French speaking nephrologists, federating outside France. The FSNDT have more than 1,750 members from French-speaking countries, such as Maghreb countries, sub-Saharan Africa, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Lebanon, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Its mission is to support the advancement of nephrology in all its areas from clinical nephrology to dialysis and renal transplantation and in all dimensions of health care, fundamental research, epidemiological and clinical advances, and education.

The FSNDT supports the BIRDIE project with a great deal of enthusiasm. The renal tubule is a true factory with a complex machinery and multiple functions. It is not easy to study and having a 3D in-vitro humanized renal tubule will help to understand its functioning mode and the consequences of its dysfunction, meaning the disease of the patient. In vitro generated tubular cells are already developed for the manufacturing of implantable dialysis device that will change the life of dialysed patients. But the great dream of the patients with end-stage renal disease is that one day, it will be possible, with in-vitro generated cells, to construct a kidney transplant for each of them. BIRDIE is the first step of a probably long but so beautiful story.

Pr Maryvonne Hourmant, chair of the French Society of Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation (FSNDT)