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Sunday, July 14th, 2024

Public-private partnership between HHS, Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation yields $25M LymeX innovation accelerator

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At the virtual LymeMIND conference last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation announced they would partner on a $25 million endeavor known as the LymeX Innovation Accelerator.

LymeX will be the largest Lyme disease-focused public-private partnership ever and is meant to advance Lyme and tickborne disease treatments through work with patients, advocates, academia, nonprofits, industry, and government organizations. Its funds will go toward innovation efforts and competition prize awards, which members hope will move innovation quicker than governments and other sectors have managed on their own.

“Lyme disease is exactly the kind of neglected public health issue that the Trump Administration has made a priority, including by strategic efforts to drive private sector innovation,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said. “The new $25 million LymeX effort is the largest Lyme disease public-private partnership ever and will help support next-generation science and innovation to address the disease’s growing burden.”

Lyme disease affects more than 300,000 people in the United States alone each year. Tickborne diseases are also on the rise, with cases more than doubling from 2004 to 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This partnership will focus on three areas: stakeholder engagement, raising education and awareness, and incentivizing next generation diagnostics through prize challenges. The first of these prize challenges should launch in 2021.