ALS and Huntington’s Groups Join Teva in Issuing Global Research Challenge

Margarida Azevedo, MSc avatar

by Margarida Azevedo, MSc |

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Global research challenge

Three organizations that are fighting neurodegenerative disorders have teamed up to challenge researchers around the world to come up with new treatment approaches.

The ALS Association, the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) and Teva Pharmaceuticals have started the crowdsourcing effort, known as the Teva CNS Target Identification Challenge. CNS stands for central nervous system. The idea behind crowdsourcing is to tap the collective ideas of the public to have a better chance of attaining a goal.

In addition to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, the challenge covers certain pain-associated conditions.

Awards of $10,000 to $30,000 will go to researchers pursuing the most promising solutions to these conditions. Some of the scientists will have an opportunity to partner with Teva on drug discovery.

“This is a particularly robust time for drug development opportunities in ALS, with many more small companies entering the ALS field. Prioritizing and identifying the most promising targets for ALS drug development, as well as encouraging new ideas and investigators, are key to driving the pipeline of potential ALS therapies,” Dr. Lucie Brujin, the chief scientist at the ALS Association, said in a press release. “The ALS Association is pleased to partner with Teva on this important initiative.”

The ALS Association will co-fund the ALS-related challenge awards. It will also consider top ALS-related proposals for grants that lead to a collaborative research project with Teva.

“The identification and validation of new molecular targets that contribute to disease processes is an essential step toward developing new treatment to help patients,” said Dr. Steffen Nock, senior vice president of research and development at Teva. “We are enthusiastic about the Teva CNS Target Identification Challenge as an opportunity to identify therapeutically relevant targets in strategic areas of interest to Teva, as well as to identify researchers with diverse scientific backgrounds and unique expertise related to the target of interest as potential collaboration partners.”

The Teva CNS Target Identification Challenge was started with the assistance of InnoCentive, a global expert in crowdsourcing. Submissions will be accepted through April 29.