The Neuromod Prize is a SPARC (Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions) initiative from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that is accelerating the development of targeted neuromodulation therapies. The first phase of the competition called on scientists, engineers, and clinicians to submit novel concepts and plans for development.
The Neuromod Prize is no longer accepting submissions for Phase 1. The deadline for Phase 1 submissions was 4:59 p.m. EDT on April 28, 2022.
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Phase 1 is open to all eligible individuals, teams and entities based in the United States. Please see the official rules, terms, and conditions for additional details concerning submissions and eligibility.
The concept paper should be a maximum of 15 pages; however, additional content may be included in an appendix. The appendix is not guaranteed to receive the same level of review as the first 15 pages of the document, but may provide helpful context or clarification. Submissions should be submitted as a PDF and formatted with 1-inch margins (2.5 cm), using an easily read font with a minimum 12-point size.
The submission should describe what the proposed solution is, what is already known about the solution’s approach, why it is impactful and innovative, and how the corresponding experiments will be conducted. While they do not need to adhere to a specific structure or order, concept papers should respond to the stated prompts within each of the following four considerations: therapeutic approach, performance, impact, and plans for development. Guidance on the type of information or data you should incorporate into your responses is included in italics under each prompt:
Detail your proposed solution’s methodology for targeting and modulating autonomic functions in the peripheral nervous system.
Methodologies should include the underlying biological mechanisms, the neuromodulation technologies involved, and the specifications to achieve targeted outcomes. Specifications include: stimulation parameters (intensity, frequency, duration), device design, and invasiveness.
Describe how your solution would be capable of achieving the targets outlined in the target performance considerations with any applicable evidence you are able to provide. Describe any potential off-target effects or adverse events associated with your solution, as well as your plans for mitigating them. Detail how you aim to monitor and evaluate performance outcomes in proof-of-concept studies.
Descriptions should include a list of the end organs and resulting on-target and off-target functions that may be regulated through this approach. Mitigation plans should specify the methods (e.g., anodal block) to be used and the biomarkers that will be monitored. Please include any third-party products or services you may rely on to demonstrate high confidence in results.
Describe the potential therapeutic applications of your solution, including the specific condition(s) it may treat, and detail the benefits to patients or clinicians. In addition, describe how the findings and mechanisms identified by your solution may advance scientific understanding of neuromodulation.
Discuss the novel benefits of applying the proposed solution in a clinical setting, identifying the anticipated patient outcomes and explaining why the proposed mechanism matters in this context. Consider how your solution will differ from what is commercially available, whether by treating novel conditions and/or targeting multiple organ functions. If available, please include evidence from market research, patient or clinician interviews, or other external inputs.
Plans for development
Describe the current state of clinical maturity and development of your solution. Provide a plan for conducting proof-of-concept studies throughout the later phases of the competition, including the steps and resources needed to advance (e.g., budgets, personnel, equipment).
Include any previous research outcomes (including trials conducted and existing intellectual property), current development status, and funding acquired. Plans should detail next steps for continued iteration, testing, and safety evaluation in later phases of the competition and/or beyond. In addition, you should identify key risks for clinical development and how you plan to address them, as well as advantages that you plan to leverage. Include an overview of your team’s skills and resources and if/how you will need to address gaps in expertise through potential partnerships and plans for future collaborative efforts, including strategies for addressing potential intellectual property (IP) issues.