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Relieve Itch Challenge

Help people living with a chronic skin condition to find relief from their itch and improve the quality of life for millions. Read Overview...
Overview

LEO Innovation Lab is sponsoring the Relieve Itch innovation challenge with a prize money of $50,000. 

People living with a chronic skin condition such as psoriasis and eczema are terribly affected by intense itchiness of the skin. While current treatments are available, they are not sufficient. We are looking for a technology solution that could address this.

Challenge Description

We are looking for a digital and/or device solution which will enable people with a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema, to find new relief from their itch or to live more comfortably with their itch. The solution is based on software and/or hardware and solutions which assume that users have access to a smartphone or other state-of-the-art devices are accepted.

- Concept Idea deadline is February 13, 2017 
- Prototype deadline is June 1, 2017 23:59 p.m. UTC +2 (CEST)

Read the challenge Guidelines for the specific submission criteria and rules. Please advise that guidelines are subject to change. Registered competitors will receive a notification when significant changes are made, however, we highly encourage you to regularly visit the challenge page.

Problem

Living with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis is associated with terrible itch and patients often rate this, as the most distressing symptom of their condition. Itchiness is a large burden as the itch often can be so intense, that maintaining a normal life can be hard. To read more about itch please see the available resources for this challenge.

Many people experience trouble with concentration and the ability to focus. Moreover, it can strongly influence their ability to fall and remain asleep. The constant itch often results in people scratching in their sleep, increasing the risk of infections and amplifying the severity of the disease flare-up.

Current non-medical solutions for treating itch used by people with psoriasis and AD involve coconut oil, ointments, creams, gels and lotions. Other people use salt baths, sun, mud, cutting their nails short and sleeping with gloves to prevent scratching. Living with these conditions can cause a lack of energy and in many cases depression. People experience frequent social stigma and up to 60% of psoriasis sufferers have symptoms of depression as consequence of a lowered quality of life.

Challenge Breakthrough

The burden of itch and its disabling effect on people's quality of life is well documented in the literature, but the clinical understanding of itch remains largely unknown. For this reason, people's ability to cope with itch represents the perhaps largest unmet need in dermatology. 

As a parallel to the ongoing work within conventional pharmaceutical research and development, we believe that new digital and/or device technologies represent, an opportunity to support patients in managing severe forms of itch. We believe that such tools have the potential of decreasing the impact of itch and thereby increasing the quality of life for people living with a skin condition.

Such a solution would not only meet the needs of psoriasis sufferers worldwide but could also have a significant influence on the overall disease management and societal impact, for a broad range of skin conditions.

Winner Prize

A prize of a total of $50,000 USD will be awarded to the prototype solution that best meets the judging criteria. Apart from the prize money, the winner may become part of the LEO Innovation Lab project portfolio with the potential of:

  • Collaboration for commercialisation
  • Investment
  • Acess to sales force
  • Acess to a network of patients and healthcare providers through both LEO Innovation Lab and LEO Pharma

In the case of a tie, the winner will be selected at the discretion of the judging panel.

Background

Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease with red, thick and scaly skin and affects at least 100 million people worldwide, with the highest concentration (around 2-3%) in the western population. What triggers the disease is partly genetic, however, general stress and post-traumatic stress are important predictors of skin flare-ups. Environmental factors such as humidity, certain nutrition, infections and psychological imbalance are also known to be capable of causing flare-ups. In general, people with psoriasis more frequently experience other diseases such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, overweight and obesity, heart issues and depression. To read more about Psoriasis please see the available resources for this challenge. 

Psoriasis and Life 
The psychological effects of psoriasis have on person's everyday life represent an enormous emotional burden. People experience frequent social stigma and up to 60% of psoriasis sufferers have symptoms of depression as consequence of a lowered quality of life.


"It is terrible. It’s hard to explain because your skin has a totally different texture than normal. It’s not like a mosquito bite. It comes from underneath. And it’s a bigger area. I scratch until it bleeds. And if you scratch a mosquito bite until it bleeds it stops itching but this continues. So, in the end, you scratch yourself skinless." - Testimony from a person living with Psoriasis

A recent study done by the Happiness Research Institute and Psohappy concluded that half of people with psoriasis say they have low self-esteem and 41% say they rarely feel confident. The study also found that people living with psoriasis have approximately 20% lower level of happiness compared to the rest of the population. 

Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a very common inflammatory skin disease diagnosed in up to 20% of children in Western countries, often occurring along with asthma and hay-fever. Most AD goes into remission at child age but for some people AD flares up again later in life (adult atopic dermatitis). Skin infections, skin irritants and sometimes even sweating can provoke or worsen skin rash, affecting people with severe itch and a lowered quality of life. In general, people with AD often experience asthma, hay-fever and certain other eczema-diseases. To read more about Atopic Dermatitis please see the available resources for this challenge. 


Other Challenges

Have a look at our other challenge Skin Prediction 

 

Challenge Sponsor
 

This challenge is created and sponsored by LEO Innovation Lab. 

LEO Innovation Lab is an independent unit, established by LEO Pharma as part of a long-term strategic decision to focus on patient needs.
At LEO Innovation Lab we don’t develop medical treatments – instead, we look at all aspects of everyday life that can affect a person living with a skin condition, with the goal of improving their quality of life.

To learn more about LEO Innovation Lab visit: http://leoinnovationlab.com

About LEO Pharma







Pharmaceutical company LEO Pharma specializes in dermatology helping people globally, that suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, actinic keratosis or acne. LEO Pharma is owned entirely by the LEO Foundation and has no shareholders. Its profits are reinvested to develop new solutions to support the overall mission: To help people achieve healthy skin.

Guidelines

Challenge Description

We are looking for a digital and/or device solution which will enable people with a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema, to find new relief from their itch or to live more comfortably with their itch. The solution is based on software and/or hardware and solutions which assume that users have access to a smartphone or other state-of-the-art devices are accepted. 
 

Concept Idea - Deadline February 13, 2017

Describe your concept/idea in a slide deck. The following things should be included: 

  • Assumptions/hypotheses and supporting data/information (1-2 slides)
  • Description of the concept and its features (2-3 slides)
  • Mock-up of concept (If applicable)
  • Description of technical requirements (2-3 slides)

A template is available in the resources section. 
 

Prototype - Deadline June 1, 2017

All prototype submissions must include the following:

  • Detailed description of solution
  • Documentation of method and reproducibility
  • Demonstration of working prototype (video or other)
  • Documentation of user validation in relieving itch with min. 5-10 users. +10 users is advantageous 
    • Self-reported improvement of at least 80% from baseline (prior to the solution) using the 5-D pruritus (Itch) scale*
    • 75% of tested users evaluating the usability of the solution 3 out of 5. 
  • Technical specifications of prototype
  • Suggested development plan
    • If the solution is a device, the production cost can be no more than $500 USD / unit, assuming an annual quantity of 25,000 units.

*See "Resources" for information on the 5-D scale.


Judging

How will prototype submissions be judged? 

Evaluation Criteria

Weight of total score

Self-reported improvement
Self-reported improvement of at least 80% from baseline (prior to the solution) using the 5D pruritus scale.*

30
Usability Evaluation
Min. 75% of tested users evaluating the usability of the solution 3 out of 5.
30
Accessibility of the solution
How easy can users access the solution?
25
Affordability of solution
How affordable will the product/solution be for users?
15
Total 100

*See "Resources" for information on the 5D scale. 

Rules

Participants must comply with the challenge rules. Participants will be deemed to have received, understood and agreed to these challenge rules through their participation in the challenge. Full IP Agreement will be disclosed at challenge launch

Eligibility
The challenge is open to all individuals both private and company. Submissions must be made in English and all challenge-related communication will be in English.

Submission
If you are competing in this challenge we advise that you submit your concept idea at the concept submission deadline. This is not a requirement, but it is recommended that you do so to ensure the relevance of your final (prototype) solution. 

Challenge Sponsor will judge all Submissions against the criteria set forth in the Challenge Guidelines and determine, in its sole discretion, which submission best addresses the Challenge Guidelines.

Submissions must not contain or include ideas, concepts, solutions or technology in respect of which a third party owns or controls the intellectual property. Submissions and descriptions thereof may not include trademarks or trade names of corporations or entities without the permission of their owners.

Intellectual Property
To participate in the challenge participants must agree to the terms and conditions in the challenge specific agreement made available when entering the challenge. Full Information concerning intellectual property can be found in the challenge specific agreement.



All intellectual property rights, if any, and all inventions, patents, patent applications, designs, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, software, source code, object code, processes, formulae, ideas, methods, know-how, techniques, devices, creative works, works of authorship, publications, and/or other intellectual property developed by innovator as part of the submission will remain with innovator.

If Challenge Sponsor notifies innovator that submission is eligible for a prize, innovator will be considered qualified as a Finalist. Finalist must agree to grant to the Challenge Sponsor a royalty-free, exclusive, worldwide license in respect of all such intellectual property rights, if any, for the purposes of commercial exploitation of the idea or concept demonstrated by the submission. Challenge Sponsor may be open to negotiate the exclusivity of a submission, dependent on the specific submission in question.

Disclaimers
The Challenge Rules are subject to change. Registered participants will receive notification when changes are made. However, participants are encouraged to visit the challenge page often to review updates.
 

Winner Prize

A prize of a total of $50,000 USD will be awarded to the prototype solution that best meets the judging criteria. Apart from the prize money, the winner may become part of the LEO Innovation Lab project portfolio with the potential of:

  • Collaboration for commercialisation
  • Investment 
  • Acess to sales force
  • Acess to a network of patients and healthcare providers through both LEO Innovation Lab and LEO Pharma

In the case of a tie, the winner will be selected at the discretion of the judging panel.


Other Challenges

Not the right challenge for you? Have a look at our other challenge Skin Prediction

 

Note: Challenge Guidelines are subject to change. Registered competitors will receive a notification when changes are made, however, we highly encourage you to regularly visit the challenge site to see new updates.

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