Novartis launches Innovation Prize for Assistive Tech to encourage new technologies that address unmet needs of the multiple sclerosis community
Nov 21, 2019
The Novartis Innovation Prize: Assistive Tech for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) identifies and embraces technology that aims to improve mobility and daily life for people living with MS
Applications are open worldwide to the tech community, innovators, design experts, patient advocates – anyone with an idea to make everyday life better for those with MS or mobility-limiting disabilities
The applications will be accepted until January 10, 2020 at 17:00 ET and the winners will be announced at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas on March 13, 2020
In order to develop their innovation, the first-place winner will receive a prize worth $250,000 and the second-place winner will receive $50,000*
To launch this initiative, Novartis is proud to work with WIRED Brand Lab, alongside other key collaborators such as Techstars, Shift.ms, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and more
Basel, November 21, 2019 — “Every day, patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) face difficult and unique mobility challenges that can make regular activities such as walking, speaking, and living out comfortable lives extremely difficult,” said John Tsai, Head of Global Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, Novartis. “Novartis is deeply invested in this community, and it is our hope that through this Innovation Prize, we can help reimagine care for people living with MS by encouraging new technologies addressing some of the challenges faced by those living with MS and their loved ones.”
“A primary fear of many people living with MS is the loss of their independence – from overall mobility and accessibility limitations to an impact on daily activities and employment,” said George Pepper, co-founder and CEO of Shift.ms. “We are excited to see how the Novartis Innovation Prize will stimulate new innovation and drive conversation around improving quality of life for those living with MS and other mobility-limiting conditions.”
*Subject to the terms and conditions found on www.wired.com/msinnovationprize
About the Innovation Prize The Novartis Innovation Prize: Assistive Tech for MS identifies and embraces technology that aims to improve the mobility, accessibility, and activities of daily life for these individuals and others living with mobility-limiting conditions. The Prize aims to spur investment and dialogue across the many needs of people living with MS, and other people living with mobility-limiting conditions. More information, including application requirements, judging criteria, and terms and conditions can be found on the application site, www.wired.com/msinnovationprize.
About Multiple Sclerosis MS is a chronic disorder of the central nervous system that affects around 2.3 million people worldwide. There are three main forms of MS: relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), the most common form of the condition at diagnosis; secondary progressive MS (SPMS); and primary progressive MS (PPMS). MS disrupts the normal functioning of the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord through inflammation and tissue loss.
SPMS follows an initial form of RRMS, which accounts for approximately 85% of all MS diagnoses, and is characterized by gradual worsening of neurological function over time. This leads to a progressive accumulation of neurological disability. There remains a high unmet need for safe and effective treatments to help delay disability progression in SPMS with active disease (with relapses and/or evidence of new MRI activity).
About Novartis Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 750 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 108,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at www.novartis.com.
References  Multiple Sclerosis International Federation. Atlas of MS 2013. http://www.msif.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Atlas-of-MS.pdf. Accessed April 2019.  MS Society. Types of MS. https://www.mssociety.org.uk/what-is-ms/types-of-ms. Accessed March 2019.  PubMed Health. Multiple Sclerosis (MS). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001747/. Accessed April 2019  Kappos L et al. Siponimod versus placebo in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (EXPAND): a double-blind, randomized, phase 3 study. Lancet. 2018:391(10127):1263-1273.  National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS). https://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/Types-of-MS/Secondary-progressive-MS. Accessed April 2019.