On 7 August, Fresenius Medical Care (Fresenius) announced its acquisition of NxStage Medical (NxStage) for $2bn.

Fresenius hopes that the acquisition will develop its critical care business in the US and strengthen its position in the home dialysis market.

Fresenius is the largest global healthcare group that offers products and services for dialysis treatment. It provides various dialysis services through its own clinics and sells its products to other dialysis service providers.

US-based NxStage is a medical device company that develops, manufactures, and markets novel products for the treatment of kidney failure, fluid overload, and related blood treatments and procedures, with home hemodialysis as a key strength. Its main product is NxStage System One, which is indicated for the treatment of acute and chronic renal failure by using hemofiltration, hemodialysis, and ultrafiltration for clinic and home use.

Home dialysis gives patients opportunities to control the place and time of dialysis treatment. Although patient demographics, costs, and physician comfort levels may restrict broader use, the number of patients who receive home dialysis therapy is growing quickly.

According to the latest data from the US Renal Data System, home-based patients increased 73% from 2007 to 2014. Home-based peritoneal dialysis was the clear leader, but home hemodialysis took a jump of almost 3,617 patients to 8,595 patients in seven years.

An increasing focus on reducing healthcare costs for patients of all ages has spurred the growth of the home dialysis market. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the US bundles multiple costs into a single payment along with other measures to control the rising cost.

In addition, CMS waived a 90-day waiting period for reimbursement for home dialysis patients and increased the rate for training patients to perform home dialysis by 50%. It is good timing for Fresenius to invest in the home dialysis market.

Based on primary research, GlobalData  forecasts a 6% growth in home dialysis therapy among all dialysis modalities globally in the next five years. The US and UK will especially enjoy robust growth of approximately 10%.

In addition, due to the largely untreated dialysis population, use of home dialysis among incident end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients in emerging economies will increase notably in the next seven years. With Fresenius’ diverse product portfolio and rich experience in the renal disease management, the future of the home dialysis market is very promising.