Putting science in the driving seat: EIT Health and Biogen team up to advance promising neuroscience R&D

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Andrew Brookes
© GettyImages/Andrew Brookes

Related tags Alzheimer's disease Biogen

EIT Health and Biogen have launched the ‘neurotechprize’ to help develop promising technology from all over the world that looks to address Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Researchers selected for the program will receive mentoring and acceleration support from leading industry experts.

Over a period of 10 weeks, those chosen will undergo an intense mentoring and validation process facilitated by EIT Health and Biogen experts. Following the work, the teams will pitch their idea to an independent panel of experts, consisting of leading neurologists, patient representatives and payors who will award €100,000 and €50,000 prizes to the two best solutions.

The program​ is open. Teams can now apply to be considered for the scheme, said the partners.

The incidence of AD is growing – over 55 million people live with dementia worldwide, and forecasts ​project that this figure will rise to 78 million by 2030.

Read our interview from yesterday​ with Gene Kinney, CEO of Prothena. He gave us an insider's perspective on R&D in the Alzheimer’s disease space.  

Unlocking the ideas

"Direct collaboration between EIT Health and Biogen will give us all of the ingredients to foster, grow and test ideas, and rapidly commercialize those that can have impact,”​ said Jan-Philipp Beck, CEO of EIT Health, which is part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

“Alzheimer’s, alongside cancer, is our next big challenge following COVID-19. The pandemic has shown us clearly what can be achieved when science is put in the driving seat, and collaboration and focus are the words of the day. We must now use those lessons and the momentum to solve the devastating diseases that have been affecting us for a long time but will affect us much more acutely in the near future. 

“Our experience tells us that while there are many great healthcare ideas waiting to be unlocked, the real difficulty is finding the right people and environments to deliver them to the market quickly and effectively," ​he added.

Who can apply?

The scheme is aimed at health entrepreneurs in the NeuroTech space seeking support in the validation of their ideas and developing business goals in a supportive and enriching environment.

Teams of minimum two people, incorporated start-ups, and non-incorporated teams are eligible to submit their entry to the program, said the partners. 

Solutions must target the challenge of Alzheimer’s disease and be aimed at the German market. Of particular interest is innovation that eases the burden for patients during the complex diagnosis and therapy pathway.

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