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Posted: April 6, 2010
Methuselah Foundation launches NewOrgan Prize
(Nanowerk News) Today Methuselah Foundation launched the NewOrgan Prize, the Foundation’s new longevity prize specifically focused on advancing the development of replacement tissues and organs for humans. Its goal is to accelerate advances in regenerative medicine, which will become the standard of care for replacing all tissue and organ systems in the body within 20 years, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The first research team to construct a whole new complex organ (heart, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas) made from a person’s own cells –one that is functionally equivalent and successfully transplanted– will be awarded the NewOrgan Prize. The goal of the Methuselah Foundation NewOrgan Prize is to achieve this medical breakthrough within the next 10 years. Today’s launch is a call to action for competitors, candidates and contributors who want to participate in this crucial medical challenge aimed at extending healthy human life.
“Based on our success in spurring medical advances with incentives provided by the original Methuselah Mouse prize, we anticipate that over $10 million will be raised by the time the NewOrgan Prize criteria is met –and the prize presented– to the leading medical R&D team,” noted Methuselah Foundation CEO David Gobel. “At minimum, $1 million will be awarded to the research team that develops a whole new human organ that is functional and successfully transplanted.” Potential competitors can reach Methuselah Foundation at [email protected]
To date, Methuselah Foundation has secured commitments for $3.8 million for prizes to be awarded for specific medical advances. To help support those in need of replacement organs, Methuselah Foundation is also establishing the NewOrgan Network, a wellness community powered by My Bridge 4 Life. At the NewOrgan Network, those in need of replacement organs can reach out to friends and family for personal support --- and help drive scientific progress via the NewOrgan Prize. Prospective members of the community can learn more and join the NewOrgan Network at www.neworgannetwork.com.
Since 2003, three Methuselah Foundation Mprizes have been presented to researchers, including the Mprize given to Dr. David Sharp for the first drug proven to extend healthy maximum lifespan in mice. All of these prizes recognize breakthroughs that extend the lifespan of mice; they’re often referred to as the ‘Methuselah Mouse’ prizes. In addition to the Mprize series, Methuselah Foundation also funds innovative new companies that are creating breakthrough technologies, products, and solutions. One example is Organovo, which has created the world’s first commercial 3D Bio-Printer for manufacturing human tissue and organs. The Foundation believes that this kind of enabling technology will be key to achieving the goals of the NewOrgan Prize.
Methuselah Foundation introduced the first Mprize in 2003 to accelerate the development of revolutionary new life extension innovations. Inspired by the 18th century Longitude Prize, the Mprizes are a series of cash incentive prizes given to the first teams of doctors or scientists to achieve specific life-extending medical goals. Studies have shown that an incentive prize can generate activity worth 50 times its value; that is, a $10 million incentive prize can spark $500 million in scientific research and development.
The Obama Administration recently introduced a Strategy for American Innovation, calling for agencies to increase their ability to promote and harness innovation by using policy tools such as prizes and challenges.
Methuselah Foundation’s scientific advisory board includes several luminaries in the biological research and regenerative medicine field: Anthony Atala, MD, W.H. Boyce Professor, Director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and chair of the Department of Urology at Wake Forest University; Stephen F. Badylak, Professor, Department of Surgery and Deputy Director, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh; Robert Cohen, CEO, Miromatrix; Gabor Forgacs, biological physicist at the University of Missouri-Columbia; Keith Murphy, CEO and President, Organovo; and Doris Taylor, Ph.D, Director, Center for Cardiovascular Repair Medtronic Bakken, Professor of Integrative Biology and Physiology, Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota.
Methuselah Foundation is a non-profit medical charity dedicated to extending healthy human life. Supported by the donations of individuals and organizations, the programs of Methuselah Foundation include near, mid and long term strategies that advance the mission of ending age-related disease through awareness, education, scientific research and direct community outreach.