Veterans Advancing ALS/MND Wins Sanofi US Innovation Challenge: Collaborate Innovate - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Veterans Advancing ALS/MND Wins Sanofi US Innovation Challenge: Collaborate Innovate

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$100,000 prize and access to additional expertise awarded to support "big data" genetic analysis to provide new clues to the higher incidence of ALS in veterans

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 Team Wins Sanofi's Partners in Patient Health and North America Research & Development Hub Collaborate Innovate Challenge

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.

"This Challenge brought together an extraordinary and diverse mix of people, all with the shared commitment to improving patient health," said Marc Bonnefoi, Head of North American R&D Hub, Sanofi. "We are grateful for this opportunity to work collectively with the advocacy community and translate the perspectives of everyone into meaningful advancements in drug discovery."

The Collaborate Innovate runners-up and the groups representing them include:

The Collaborate Innovate Challenge is the second in Sanofi's Collaborate Challenge Series. The series is rooted in the idea that patient organizations working together can magnify their collective insights to produce significant, meaningful solutions to improve patient health.

The theme of the current Challenge, "Co-Creating for Breakthroughs: Moving Toward a Collaborative Research and Development Ecosystem," called on non-profit patient, provider and professional associations to partner with other associations and/or academic institutions to propose new approaches to translate patient insights into improvements in the drug development process.

An esteemed panel of judges selected the four finalists and the winner. The judges bring deep expertise in clinical trials and research; early-stage research and development; and patient advocacy.

To learn more about the Collaborate Innovate Challenge, and track progress of this year's winner, visit: www.collaborateinnovate.com.

About Sanofi

Sanofi, an integrated global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi is the holding company of a consolidated group of subsidiaries and operates in the United States as Sanofi US. For more information on Sanofi US, please visit http://www.sanofi.us or call 1-800-981-2491.

Sanofi US is also on Twitter and Facebook. Visit us at https://twitter.com/SanofiUS and http://www.facebook.com/sanofiUS.

Contact:
Mary Kathryn Steel
Tel: 908-989-0726
USMediaRelations@sanofi.com

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