BRIDGEWATER, N.J., May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sanofi US announced the winner of its second Innovation Challenge: Collaborate Innovate. The winner, Veterans Advancing ALS/MND , is a partnership that comprises Innovative Solutions Consortium and Johns Hopkins University. In the spirit of collaboration, Sanofi's Partners in Patient Health and North America Research & Development Hub coordinated the Collaborate Innovate Challenge to strengthen the patient voice in the drug development process. Independent judges selected the winning team from four finalists selected to present their concepts to a live audience at an event at the Sanofi US Bridgewater campus.
Veterans Advancing ALS/MND will conduct data analysis to provide new clues to the higher incidence of ALS in veterans. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Motor Neuron Disease, aka ALS, or " Lou Gehrig's Disease") is a neurodegenerative disease with no substantial therapies. The concept will connect open innovation, reliable veterans' organizations and the ALS research community to provide new conclusive insights about ALS and accelerate application of individualized therapies. "Winning this challenge provides Veterans Advancing ALS/MND with urgently needed resources to help ALS/MND veterans receive better care, as well as develop new therapies tailored to individual patient needs," said Steve Hunt, Executive Director, Innovative Solutions Consortium. "Our approach will demonstrate advances in individualized treatments for many diseases, not just ALS/MND." For the past two months, each of the four finalist teams received mentorship from Sanofi team members and functional experts in business strategy, marketing and communications, systems thinking, decision sciences, and healthcare venture capital, drawing on cooperative insights to refine their solution before presenting to the judges.