InnoCentive Challenge Solved: $1M Awarded to Biomarker Discovery For ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Awards: A New Frontier in Biomedical Innovation

WASHINGTON--()--InnoCentive, (, the global leader in Challenge Driven Innovation, today announced Dwayne Spradlin, InnoCentive President and CEO will share the stage at a press briefing with Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer; Avi Kremer, Co-Founder and CEO of Prize4Life; John Porter, PhD, Program Director, Neuromuscular Disease for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Institutes of Health.


  Thursday, February 10th at 10:00 AM ET.


AAAS Auditorium, 1200 New York Avenue, N Washington, DC 20005

InnoCentive will be on hand to discuss the innovation behind the success of the ALS Disease biomarker discovery and how, in the wake of the re-authorization of the America COMPETES Act, incentive prizes can serve as a key weapon in the arsenal of government agencies as they confront a wide range of public policy issues.

When Prize4Life launched this Challenge on InnoCentive’s web site five years ago, the goal was to accelerate research being done around ALS by finding a biomarker to track the progression of the disease. Because the only way to track ALS has been how quickly death occurs, research has been at a standstill with scarce clinical trial funding. When the Challenge was launched into InnoCentive’s broad and expert group of Solvers, a scientist who had been researching ALS for 15 years was able to accelerate his research. His biomarker measures the progression of ALS for the first time. This discovery will spur funding for clinical trials and speed the development of drugs to successfully treat this disease, making real progress toward a cure.

Attendees to this briefing will learn about the novel biomarker approach that met Prize4Life’s Challenge criteria, as well as some of the unique challenges that arise in applying incentive prizes in the biomedical research arena. Prize4Life and InnoCentive will be presented as a case study for biomedical challenge innovation. Finally, attendees will learn about a model being developed by some of the leading minds in the prize space regarding the future of pull mechanisms in biomedical innovation will be shown.

Others attending the conference that will be available for comment:
Aneesh Chopra
U.S. Chief Technology Officer
Avi Kremer
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Prize4Life, Inc
John Porter, PhD
Program Director, Neuromuscular Disease National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Jeremy Shefner, MD, PhD
Co-director, Northeast ALS Consortium Professor and Chair of Neurology and Associate Vice President for Clinical and Translational Research Upstate Medical University
Seward Rutkove, MD
$1M ALS Biomarker Prize Challenge Winner
Associate Professor of Neurology Harvard Medical School Chief of the Division of Neuromuscular Diseases Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Dwayne Spradlin
Chief Executive Officer, InnoCentive, Inc
Melanie Leitner, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer,Prize4Life, Inc

About InnoCentive, Inc.

InnoCentive is the global leader in Challenge Driven Innovation that bridges the gap between great ideas and actual solutions to drive measureable results. Recognized as an open innovation and crowdsourcing pioneer, InnoCentive’s proven methodology, expanding global network of creative and passionate problem solvers, and cloud-based technology platform enable organizations to tap all potential sources of innovation – employees, customers, partners, and InnoCentive’s unmatched Global Solver Community – to accelerate their pace of innovation and evolve into true Challenge Driven Enterprises. Leading commercial, public sector, and non-profit organizations such as Eli Lilly, Medtronic, NASA,, Procter & Gamble, Roche, Rockefeller Foundation, and The Economist partner with InnoCentive to help them solve their most pressing problems and challenges. For more information, visit


Connie French, 978-482-3389
Marketing Director

Release Summary

Dwayne Spradlin, InnoCentive President and CEO, will share the stage with a prestigious panel to discuss the ALS Challenge Award.


Connie French, 978-482-3389
Marketing Director