As part of the Phase 2 virtual accelerator, the LymeX Diagnostics Prize hosted a virtual roundtable with patients and clinicians who discussed their personal experiences with Lyme disease diagnoses. The ultimate goal of the multiphase competition is to nurture the development of these diagnostics toward FDA review. 

Lorny Pfeifer and Wendy Adams shared their stories about their own prolonged journeys toward a diagnosis—including significant barriers they faced and the impact of misdiagnosis. Drawing upon their experience as clinicians and clinical educators, Dr. Kenneth Liegner and Dr. Elizabeth Maloney also provided insights into how practitioners use diagnostic tests and the challenges in ensuring tests are used effectively in health systems. The Phase 2 teams had the opportunity to ask questions following the discussion.

For additional information, patients, clinicians, and innovators can explore the following resources:

A look at the Phase 2 accelerator

In January 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation invited the 10 Phase 1 winners to participate in the Phase 2 virtual accelerator. The nine month accelerator offers the cohort access to virtual learning, mentorship, biorepository subject matter expertise, and networking opportunities designed to help the teams progress toward FDA review.

By using a prize competition, rather than relying on traditional grantmaking, the LymeX Diagnostics Prize offers cash prizes alongside a range of non-monetary resources. Following the accelerator, the cohort will submit concept papers that detail solution refinement, clinical and patient input, and a roadmap from lab to market.

The competition judging panel—composed of experts in areas such as vector-borne disease biology, clinical and technology translation, patient experience and advocacy, and diagnostic science and technology—will evaluate eligible submissions according to official Phase 2 evaluation criteria. Based on the judges’ evaluations, the judging panel will recommend up to five Phase 2 winners of the LymeX Diagnostics Prize, with at least $250,000 per winner.

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