ALS is a devastating disease whose underlying mechanisms are not well understood. There is a desperate need to untangle its mysteries and produce treatments and cures for patients.
Competing for one of Prize4Life's prizes is a way to help move ALS research forward. Even if your work does not typically focus on ALS, you may find ways to direct your research toward some of the most pressing challenges that the ALS community faces. Breakthroughs in ALS may also have important implications for other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and MS.
Working with Prize4Life also affords the opportunity to be part of an exciting new approach to solving research challenges. Prize4Life recognizes that the inducement prize model is still unproven in the biomedical field, but we believe that this could be a powerful tool to target research toward the challenges that, once overcome, could rapidly move the whole field forward.
Inducement prizes seek to focus attention and resources on very specific outcomes. Prize4Life is seeking to use the increased attention and new resources attracted by the inducement prize model to supplement and complement the existing range of resources focused on ALS.
Like the rest of the ALS community, Prize4Life believes that the existing resources: human, financial, and informational are not enough, and that by indirectly increasing the resources devoted to cures and treatments for ALS, we can help speed up the identification of novel treatments and cures.
Prize4Life has chosen to focus our efforts on the gap between academic research and the industry. That gap, also known as the valley of death, is where the vast majority of ALS academic studies fail to become a product that can benefit patients. This gap exists for many diseases, it is exceptionally wide for ALS because very basic drug development tools are still missing for ALS and not enough is known about the mechanism(s) of the disease. Prize4Life hopes to use the inducement prize model, as well as other leveraging efforts to help focus attention and resources on the research challenges that, once overcome, could open the door to extensive interest and investment from drug companies and have the greatest impact for ALS patients.
The Prize4Life model also appeals to new donors, particularly those who are interested in supporting outcomes-based philanthropy and who have historically been less likely to support traditional research grant mechanisms. The Prize4Life model brings new monies into the ALS research arena, increasing the resources available.
Because Prize4Life uses an outcome-oriented/prize based model, this essentially means that we are agnostic about who competes. We invite as wide a pool of participants as possible with no restrictions. We want to attract ALS researchers, clinicians, other disease researchers, young scientists, older scientists, domestic researchers, international researchers worldwide, and anyone in between, to participate in the pursuit of understanding of ALS better and finding treatments and a cure for this devastating and fatal disease.
For a listing of prizes in the biomedical space, past, present and future, click here.