Qidni revolutionizes End-Stage Renal Disease treatment for patients

Velocity Science company Qidni is working to re-invent the traditional treatment of patients with End-Stage Renal Disease, also known as kidney failure. We sat down with Co-founder, Morteza Ahmadi, to get the inside scoop on the company’s growth and development.

Qidni joined Velocity Science in March 2014. At the time, Morteza had completed his PhD in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and a fellowship with the Kidney Foundation of Canada. It was through his experience that he became knowledgeable about the issues associated with the treatment of kidney failure, and he became passionate about developing a solution.

“During my fellowship with the Kidney Foundation, I visited a dialysis centre in Hamilton. I saw the patients connected to these machines, and when we talked to them, we got to know more about their pain, and the problem.” Morteza shared.

With further research, he learned that the technology used for blood dialysis treatments has not changed in half a century, so he began to imagine the ways in which innovation could help to solve this problem, and improve the quality of life for so many people. The process has not been easy, but it has been incredibly rewarding.

 “It’s an interesting journey,” Ahmadi said, “[Our product is] an implantable renal replacement therapy. And to bring it to market you have to pass a lot of tests, first in animal models, and then in patients. So before we can test a device like this in patients, first we have to prove the safety and efficacy in animal models. That’s what we’re doing now.”

Although there is a lengthy process before Qidni’s product can go to market, the team does not view that as a set back. “We actually accept that challenge, we don’t look at it as something in our way. It’s something that we have been looking forward to working on from the beginning.”

Although Qidni is still in the testing stages, Ahmadi has more than enough experience to share:

“When you want to start a medical device company, you need to make sure about the need and problem you’re solving. My advice would be to gather a group of experts in the field. Not only engineers, but also clinicians, people who normally invest in medical devices, and a person with experience with regulations. Start a conversation with that group, so you have a good understanding of the problem that you’re solving.”

Ahmadi is confident in the future of medical innovation, particularly for startups. “For a company that has found a need, and can solve a real problem, there is a lot of opportunity.”

If you’re interested in Qidni’s work, they are always looking for dedicated and talented students to join their team. Find out more on their website.