• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Investment of up to £4m to support the development of products and services for the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and diagnostic tools to enable the stratification of patients for better treatment and care management.

  • Programme: Collaborative research and development

  • Award: Up to £4m

  • Opens: 27 May 2014, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 02 Jul 2014, 12:00

  • Closes: 09 Jul 2014, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

« go back

Neurodegenerative diseases: diagnostics and care management

Competition results

See here for competition results.

Summary

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £4m to support the development of products and services for the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and diagnostic tools to enable the stratification of patients for better treatment and care management. This competition also covers monitoring and aspects of telehealth and telecare as they relate to stratified medicine and the management of patient treatment and care.

Stratified medicine offers patients the right treatment at the right dose at the right time. The grouping, or stratifying, of patients according to the nature of their disease and their response to a particular treatment will have significant therapeutic benefits and improve patient outcomes. Success relies on better and more integrated diagnostic tests to guide treatment and disease management decisions and get patients into the right care pathways.

Proposals must be business-led and collaborative. We expect to fund mainly industrial research projects in which a business partner will generally attract up to 50% public funding for their project costs (60% for SMEs).

We expect projects to range in size from total costs of £200k to £1.8m. Projects should last no longer than three years.

This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 27 May 2014. The deadline for registration is noon on 2 July 2014 and the deadline for expressions of interest is noon on 9 July 2014. The deadline for invited projects to submit a full-stage application is noon on 9 October 2014. A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 10 June 2014.

Applicants who are seeking to integrate and interrogate data should apply for the parallel competition Neurodegenerative diseases: business models and big data.

Register for the competition briefing or WEBINAR on 10 June.

Background and challenge

We are delivering our stratified medicine innovation support through our Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform which has brought together organisations from industry, academia, the third sector and government, to maximise the potential of stratified medicine in the UK for the benefit of patients and the economy.

We will have invested up to £50m in stratified medicine projects by 2016, boosted to over £200m when we include investments from our partners: the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences

Research Council, Cancer Research UK, Arthritis Research UK, the Department of Health, the Scottish Government Health Directorate and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Stratified medicine will provide early and accurate diagnosis and identify the best treatment and disease management for patients. It will move therapy away from a trial-and-error approach to one that selects the most appropriate therapeutic regime or other intervention based on quality science, clinical evidence and economic value. It requires the development and adoption of a wide variety of diagnostic tools to guide clinicians and others in selecting the best treatment and care for patients. In many diseases, the probability of a positive clinical outcome is far greater the earlier a disease is detected and the earlier an appropriate treatment can be delivered.

There is a considerable unmet clinical need and a requirement for improved characterisation and early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and better tools to support patient treatment, management and care.

Neurodegenerative diseases are incurable and debilitating conditions that result in progressive degeneration or death of nerve cells. They include Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, motor neurone disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and multiple sclerosis. Of these, the dementias are responsible for the greatest disease burden, with Alzheimer's representing 60-70% of dementias affecting seven million people in Europe. 

Neurodegenerative diseases are strongly linked with age and, as the UK and other European countries have an ageing population, the incidence of these diseases is increasing. Currently, 16% of the European population is over 65, with this figure expected to reach 25% by 2030.

The costs to the UK are estimated at £23bn a year while across Europe costs are in the order of €130bn a year. Age-related neurodegenerative disease is one of the leading medical and societal challenges and it provides a major opportunity for new healthcare technologies.
 

Scope

This competition will invest up to £4m in projects to support the development of products and services for the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and diagnostic tools to enable the stratification of patients for better treatment and care management.

All neurodegenerative diseases are within the scope of this competition, including but not limited to, Alzheimer's and other dementias, Parkinson's and related disorders, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and retinal neurodegenerative disease.

We will fund projects that:

  • focus on a neurodegenerative disease or diseases
  • propose a diagnostic product, tool or service that relates to stratifying patients into different groups where they will receive different treatments and/or disease management and care.

The term ‘diagnostic' is being used in the broadest sense and includes tests to diagnose and monitor diseases, tests to predict response to therapies and optimise treatment regimes and tests that provide valuable clinical information about prognosis. Tests carried out in hospitals, clinics, in the home and the community are in scope. The competition encompasses the development of in vitro and in vivo diagnostic tools, cognitive function and mental state tests and the use of physical examinations and other appropriate investigations. Tests and measurements used in combination with or without the use of algorithms will be in scope.

This competition also covers monitoring and aspects of telehealth (using telecommunications technology) and telecare (using people-focused technology) as they relate to the use of diagnostic tools, stratified medicine and the management and delivery of patient treatment and care.

We are running two competitions within stratified medicine. Applicants intending to develop diagnostic tests and systems as part of their proposed product and/or service should apply for this competition even if their proposed solution includes the use of data and integrated systems to provide medical intelligence.

Applicants who are seeking to integrate and interrogate data from existing sources, including information from CE marked diagnostic tests, should apply for the other competition Neurodegenerative diseases: business models and big data.

The same application should not be submitted to both competitions and we advise applicants who are uncertain to contact us.

Novel biomarker discovery aimed at understanding the fundamental pathogenesis of disease is out of scope.

The application should consist of a project proposal to develop a clinically relevant capability as outlined above, the project development plan should be feasible and the solution fit for purpose.

Applicants are expected to work closely with clinicians and/or patients and those in the community and must consider why, where and when their proposed product or service will be used and how and by whom products will be used and adopted.

Looking for partners to work on your project?

Go to _connect to find collaborators and networks and further information on this competition.

 

Funding allocation and project details

We have allocated up to £4m to fund collaborative R&D projects that address the technical challenges outlined in the scope.

Projects must be business-led and collaborative. They should last no more than three years. We are primarily seeking to fund industrial research, with a business partner attracting 50% public funding for their project costs (60% for SMEs). A small percentage of pre-industrial research may appear in some work packages; a business partner will generally attract up to 65% public funding for this element of their project costs (75% for SMEs).

We expect total project costs to range in size from £200k up to a maximum of £1.8m. We may consider larger projects but applicants should contact us directly before making their application to discuss further.

Companies may make multiple applications for different projects within this competition. Applicants may apply to the parallel competition, Neurodegenerative diseases: business models and big data, with a separate application that clearly responds to the different scope.

Each partner in a collaborative R&D project can receive funding towards their project costs – the funding is a percentage of the total eligible project costs and varies, depending on the type of organisation and the type of research. For general guidance on how projects are funded see: www.innovateuk.org/-/funding-rules

 

Application process

This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 27 May 2014.

Stage 1 – Applicants submit an expression of interest which is assessed.

Stage 2 – We invite selected applicants to submit an application.

All applicants must register via our website by noon on 2 July 2014. The deadline for expressions of interest is noon on 9 July 2014.

The second stage opens on 28 July 2014 and the deadline for invited applications is noon on 9 October 2014.

Applications are assessed on individual merit by an independent panel of experts. We may apply a portfolio approach across the themes/areas, subject to applications meeting the required quality threshold.

A briefing for potential applicants will be held in London on 10 June 2014 to highlight the main features of the competition and explain the application process. Applicants are strongly recommended to attend this event.

Note that ALL deadlines are at noon. 

 

Key dates

  • Competition opens: 27 May 2014
  • Briefing event: 10 June 2014
  • Registration deadline: 2 July 2014 at noon
  • Expression of interest deadline: 9 July 2014 at noon
  • Stage 2 opens (for invited applications): 28 July 2014
  • Deadline for invited applications: 9 October 2014 at noon
     
 

More information

To apply you must first register with us through the competition page on the website. Registration opens when the competition opens and closes a week before the deadline for applications.

Publicity

As part of the application process all applicants are asked to submit a public description of the project. This should adequately describe the project but not disclose any information that may impact on intellectual property, is confidential or commercially sensitive.

The titles of successful projects, names of organisations, amounts awarded and the public description will be published once the decision to offer an award has been communicated to applicants by email. Information about unsuccessful project applications will remain confidential and will not be made public.

E-mail pressoffice@tsb.gov.uk with any queries.