Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation launched the LymeX Diagnostics Prize, a competition to accelerate the development of Lyme disease diagnostics. Phase 1 calls on scientific, technical, and clinical experts to submit innovative methods for detecting active Lyme disease infections in people.
Though an estimated 476,000 Americans are diagnosed and treated for Lyme each year, the true number of infections remains unknown. Early diagnosis is critical, because the disease can spread throughout the body if the bacterial infection is left untreated. But there is currently no FDA-cleared test for active infections.
“With climate change and other factors only increasing the geographic and seasonal distribution of ticks across the United States, there is an urgent need to accelerate innovation in Lyme disease diagnostics. Through our LymeX public-private partnership, HHS and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation are driving the next major innovations in Lyme disease diagnostics testing — ones that could significantly improve outcomes for patients.”
— Admiral Rachel L. Levine, M.D., Assistant Secretary of Health
Phase 1 will award $1 million; at the discretion of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, additional phases may follow. By using an open innovation structure rather than relying on traditional grantmaking, the competition allows winners to use no-strings-attached funding flexibly to advance their concepts. The LymeX Diagnostics Prize will set a new bar for innovation in disease diagnostics, incentivizing transformative partnerships and catalyzing additional investment.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with HHS on this competition that will bring together patients, advocates, clinicians, and innovators with broad expertise to accelerate breakthroughs in Lyme disease diagnostics.”
— Alexandra Cohen, Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation President
Take the next steps on your submission
- Review the competition details: Learn about the timeline, prize pool, and evaluation process and criteria.
- Attend the info session: Register for the June 16 virtual information session to hear from the LymeX team and ask questions.
- Browse resources: Explore fundamentals about Lyme disease, details on the LymeX partnership, tools for patient-centered design, regulatory and commercialization considerations, and more in the competition resources.
- Consider collaboration: Join the LymeX Diagnostics Prize entrant community to identify opportunities to collaborate with others or add members to your team.
- Register your team: Set up an account so you can submit as soon as your concept paper is ready.
- Enter Phase 1 by August 8: Entrants should submit detailed concepts and plans for development of innovative detection methods by 4:59 p.m. ET on August 8, 2022.
Transforming diagnostics for Lyme disease will only be possible through collaborative innovation among patients, advocates, academia, nonprofits, industry, and government. Access the LymeX Diagnostics Prize communications toolkit for sample content and graphics to share across digital channels, including social media, email, and websites — or click to tweet.
To submit a press inquiry to the LymeX Diagnostics Prize, email hello@LymeXDiagnosticsPrize.com.
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