Nearly 3 million people in the United States and 65 million people worldwide have epilepsy, a neurological condition which affects the nervous system and causes seizures. One in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime, with 150,000 new cases annually in the United States. Nearly 80% of the people with epilepsy live in low- and middle-income countries and three-quarters of these individuals do not get the treatment they need.
Among those living with epilepsy, nearly one-third have ongoing seizures despite existing therapies. Each year, more than 1 out of 1,000 people with epilepsy die from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). If seizures are uncontrolled, the risk of SUDEP increases to more than 1 out of 150. SUDEP is the leading cause of death in young adults with uncontrolled seizures.
In order to accelerate the identification of effective treatments for SUDEP, the Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute is sponsoring a Reduction to Practice Challenge to develop a predictive biomarker or panel of biomarkers to identify people at risk for SUDEP or seizures that compromise cardiac or respiratory function. The biomarker(s) must serve as an endpoint or surrogate endpoint that will drive human SUDEP interventions. For example, the biomarker(s) may identify a high risk patient group that could be used to test existing candidate interventions such as seizure detection devices.
Milestone 1 requires a detailed Project Plan of the proposed solution. Milestone 2 involves the production of proof-of-concept data. Milestone 3 requires results that demonstrate the predictive efficacy of the biomarker(s). The SUDEP Institute intends to make up to 10 awards from a total award pool of $100,000 for Milestone 1, up to 4 awards of $25,000 each for Milestone 2, and a final award at least $800,000 for successful completion of Milestone 3.
Solvers are encouraged to enter this Challenge even if they were not involved in The SUDEP Institute Challenge: Predictive Biomarkers of Epilepsy – Challenge 9933719. Participants from the previous Challenge may elect to expound upon their (winning) solution or pursue another idea. Solvers should note that the Center for SUDEP Research (CSR) is an NIH-funded research collaborative studying animal models of SUDEP and epilepsy patients who may be at high risk for SUDEP. Solvers may contact the CSR at firstname.lastname@example.org to request data and/or biospecimens to be used in the execution of a Solution. Other resources that Solvers may access are through the North American SUDEP Registry and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Sudden Death in the Young Registry.
This is a Reduction to Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, experimental proof-of-concept data, and biomarker validation data.
Novel Intrinsic Biocontainment Methods
Research using viral pathogens is vital to understanding and combating illnesses caused by such viruses and preventing future worldwide pandemics. This research is not without risks and although research facilities that handle dangerous pathogens utilize the most advanced containment equipment and procedures there is still a risk of inadvertent release of such pathogens. Intrinsic biocontainment describes various approaches to deliberately modify a pathogen, and/or a host cell, so that the pathogen does not pose a significant disease risk to humans but retains normal pathological function under specific controlled circumstances. The Seeker is soliciting ideas for novel biocontainment methods that could be used to mitigate the risks associated with research on viral pathogens.
This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.
Non Invasive Strep Throat and Nasal Pharyngeal Sampling
We are seeking non-invasive ways to collect a bacteria sample from the back of the throat and nasal cavity without causing patient discomfort or gagging.
Servier Challenge: Looking for Partners to Explore Novel Opportunities in Neurodegenerative Diseases
Servier, a middle size international pharmaceutical company based in France, is looking for partners to find and develop novel, early-stage opportunities – ranging from exploratory projects with validated targets to lead optimization – in the area of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The goal is to establish mid to long-term collaborations in which Servier offers scientific inputs, technological help and financial support for co-development of the innovative projects.
This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge; the Solver will only need to submit a written proposal to be evaluated by the Seeker with the goal of establishing a collaborative partnership.
Non-Animal Assay to Predict Mammalian Developmental Toxicity
The Seeker, a leading global research & development company, is seeking a partner to engage in a close partnership aimed at developing a battery of several possibly successive non-animal based assays. The goal is to accelerate the establishment of a developmental toxicity screening cascade for candidate chemicals while maintaining acceptable reliability and good predictability compared to results obtained in rodent and non-rodent models.
Grunenthal Challenge: Restoring the Normal Function of Neurons After Intoxication by Tetrodotoxin (Fugu fish) or Similar Neurotoxins
Fugu is a well-known Asian delicacy fish, equally famous for its poisonous potential and need to be prepared by trained chefs. The neurotoxin that is present in some of the fish organs binds to the sodium channels in neurons, disrupting its function, and triggering a reaction that leads to muscle paralysis and respiratory block.
The Seeker is looking for a molecular method to counteract this reaction and restore the normal physiological neuronal function (e.g. via restoration of functional sodium currents) after a Site 1 blocker toxin has bound to the sodium channel.
This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.
Minimally Invasive Methods for Sampling Microbiome from Hair Follicles
The importance of disease-associated microorganism in skin health has long been reported and there is a growing interest in performing metagenomics studies to further the knowledge in this field. Reliable and reproducible non-invasive methods have been developed to collect surface skin microbiome. However, analyses of non-superficial layers microbiome (i.e. hair follicle, sebaceous gland) has been slowed down by the absence of a reliable and reproducible noninvasive (or, at least, minimally invasive) sampling method to collect samples of biological material.
Hence, the Seeker is looking for a novel method to collect such samples and avoid using invasive and painful punch biopsies.
Advanced Septic Nitrogen Sensor Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (the Seeker) in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) seeks to identify and spur development of technologies to monitor nitrogen concentration in effluent from advanced Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS). Phase I of this Challenge program is an Ideation Challenge to gain a better understanding of low cost sensor technology that could be utilized to detect and measure nitrate and ammonium, or total nitrogen in the effluent of advanced OWTS. If this initial Ideation is successful, future phases of the Septic Challenge program will include prototype development and testing.
This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.
Coccidiosis Prevention and Control in Poultry
The poultry industry sustains significant losses each year due to coccidiosis. Young birds are especially vulnerable to pathogenic infections as it takes several months for their immune systems to mature after birth. Prevention of coccidiosis can be achieved with drugs that either kill the parasites or prevent their growth and replication within the gastrointestinal tract. The use of anticoccidial medicines has led to drug-resistant strains, therefore, Elanco is searching for novel approaches to prevent, treat, or control coccidiosis in poultry.
A webinar presented by Elanco and InnoCentive concerning Elanco’s Grand Challenge Program was held on October 20, 2016. A recording of the session can be accessed here.
Arsenic Sensor Challenge – Stage 1
This Challenge seeks to identify new or improved sensors, devices, or test kits to test for arsenic in water within natural and engineered systems. Solutions must improve on the current arsenic measurement methods. Areas of needed improvement include: performance, ease of use, reduction in hazardous waste production, data interpretation, and cost. This is Stage 1 of a planned two-stage Challenge, with the second stage consisting of a prototype demonstration and a larger prize purse. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is the Seeker for this Challenge. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Xylem, Inc., the Indian Health Service, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Agricultural Research Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey collaborated with Reclamation on various aspects of this Challenge.
This web site is hosted by a private entity and is not a service of Reclamation, Xylem, EPA, or the Department of the Interior (DOI). The solicitation and collection of your personal or individually identifiable information is subject to the host’s privacy and security policies and will only be shared with Reclamation if you win the Challenge. Challenge winners’ personally identifiable information must be made available to Reclamation in order to collect an award. Please consult the Challenge-Specific Agreement.
Prevention and Control of Enteropathy/Ileitis in Swine
Proliferative enteropathy, commonly known as “ileitis” is the most common enteric disease in pigs. Various antibiotics and vaccination strategies are used to control and treat the disease, but recent changes in regulatory policies and pressure from consumers regarding the use of antibiotics in livestock have increased the need for alternative methods to control the disease. Therefore, Elanco desires novel approaches for the prevention, treatment, or control of proliferative enteropathy in swine.