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Open innovation challenge into rare genomics launches

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Open innovation challenge into rare genomics launches

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There have been a number of open innovation challenges in the healthcare space recently.  One of the latest is the BeHEARD challenge from the Rare Genomics Institute (RGI).

The challenge is a global competition that is aiming to further research into the treatment of rare diseases.  The RGI has teamed up with 18 biotech companies in the hope that insight into this field can be accelerated and personalized treatments delivered to the millions of patients that suffer from treatments that are both hard to diagnose and treat.

“For many rare diseases, there are not sufficient resources dedicated to advance the research towards diagnostics, therapies, and cures,” Jimmy Lin, president of RGI said at the launch. “By partnering with top biotechnology companies, we are providing rare disease groups access to the latest life sciences innovations and technologies.”

The competition is open to anyone that thinks they have a great idea that needs help reaching fruition, whether they’re a researcher, patient or anyone else.

“The research proposals will be evaluated by an expert panel of scientists from both academia and industry,” RGI said.

The challenge is offering up prizes of around $600,000 worth of services in kind, including access to technology and support from organizations to make ideas into reality.

These include tools such as the animal mouse model created by Taconic Biosciences and drug repositioning services from Biovista.

“RGI applauds the support of our sponsors,” RGI say. “Their knowledge, resources and selfless support are crucial in the our continued fight against rare diseases.”

It’s an interesting approach as there is no tangible personal reward for participants, with the motivation appearing to lie instead on getting an improved treatment to market.

Will that be sufficient to attract a good caliber of entry?  Time will tell.  The deadline for submission is May 30th, and you can find out more information at the RGI website.

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