Top Prize: Registries for All Diseases!

Collaborate-Activate-winnerThe Solve ME/CFS Initiative is thrilled to share the announcement from Sanofi US about the winner of the Collaborate | Activate Innovation Challenge, “Registries for All Diseases.” This is tremendous news for our SolveCFS BioBank, one of the member biobanks in the Genetic Alliance Registry and BioBank cooperative that is at the core of the Registries for All Diseases winning project. Solve ME/CFS Initiative scientific director Suzanne D. Vernon, PhD, participated in today’s winner’s event at Sanofi US headquarters in Bridgewater, N.J. Sanofi CEO Anne Whitaker met with the team to help launch the implementation stage. In addition to the cash prize, the team will be given access to other non-financial resources, including Sanofi staff, data and partner networks. Read more about the winning project at

The Solve ME/CFS Initiative was part of a second team that was one of four finalists in the competition, “Partnering to End Pain.” We’re disappointed that this worthy project didn’t place in top two, but we established some great relationships and got phenomenal exposure through the competition process. The second place winner, “21st Century Brain Trust” will develop a mobile app for cognition that could be helpful to people with CFS and research on neurocognitive states.

Following is the Sanofi US press release announcing the winning teams and projects:

Sanofi US Announces Collaborate Activate Innovation Challenge Winner

– Registries for All Diseases wins $300k to create crowdsourced cross-disease registry –

Bridgewater, NJ — (December 12, 2012) – Sanofi US announced today that Registries for All Diseases has been selected as the winner of the Collaborate Activate Innovation Challenge.

Registries for All Diseases will receive an award of $300,000 to create a comprehensive, crowdsourced, cross-disease registry to help accelerate translational research for over 1,000 diseases. The team consists of partnering organizations Genetic Alliance, Solve ME/CFS Initiative , National Psoriasis Foundation, and the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Collaborate-Activate-group“Data can accelerate research and services, help us get better patient outcomes, and save money,” said Sharon Terry, President and CEO of Genetic Alliance, “But right now, this data is in silos and is not easily accessible to researchers. By creating a patient-centered research network that spans many diseases, people will be empowered to participate in their own health and can contribute data to advance the development of disease treatments.” The registry infrastructure will include robust privacy controls, allowing individuals to allow or decline access to data requests.

Registry for All Diseases was one of four teams selected to partake in the final phase of Collaborate Activate. Each of the finalists received a $25,000 award and mentorship from Sanofi team members and healthcare experts, drawing on the mentors’ insight to refine their solutions before presenting to the judges. This phase afforded the finalists the unique opportunity to access Sanofi’s expertise in preparation for a Finalist Event at the Newseum in Washington, DC, during which each team presented its solution to an independent, expert panel of judges. Sanofi received submissions from over 280 partnering organizations for solutions to help patients engage in their health across a broad range of therapeutic areas.

“Collaborate Activate embodies our commitment to improving health outcomes for patients by uniting the advocacy community to accelerate innovation,” said Anne Whitaker, President, North America Pharmaceuticals at Sanofi US.” Registries for All Diseases exemplifies the collaborative nature of the challenge by creating a multi-tiered solution that captures both common data across all diseases and disease-specific data, showcasing the expertise of each partnering organization.”

Collaborate Activate launched in July 2012 at the Partners in Patient Health Forum in Washington, DC. The challenge required two or more groups to collaborate in order to qualify for the contest and designed to promote sharing of complementary resources among partnering organizations

Collaborate-Activate-check“Through our conversations across the advocacy community, we have found that patient advocates are often working on similar challenges, but are not always working together,” said Eric Racine, Vice President, Partners in Patient Health at Sanofi US. “We established Collaborate Activate because we believe bringing together patient advocates creates a multiplier effect, and leads to innovative ideas that would not otherwise be possible. Registries for All Diseases proves how powerful this multiplier effect can be: together, the team can reach over 9,000 health organizations and 1,200 disease advocacy organizations. Utilizing data from such a broad network can have a tremendous impact on patient outcomes.”

The runner-up in the Collaborate Activate Innovation Challenge is 21st Century Brain Trust, a self-administered, clinical-grade cognitive testing app to detect asymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to anticipating the onset of Alzheimer’s, one of the team’s larger goals is to support a dialogue based on brain health rather than brain disease, empowering people to take control of their cognitive well-being. The team, comprised of the Geoffrey Beene Gives Back Alzheimer’s Initiative, the American Health Assistance Foundation, and the USAgainstAlzheimers Network, will receive $100,000 to further develop its solution.

To learn more about the Challenge, visit, or visit the Collaborate Activate blog.

Sanofi US “Partners in Patient Health”
The Collaborate Activate Innovation Challenge is an initiative of Sanofi US’s Partners in Patient Health ,  a novel approach to partnering with the advocacy community by connecting people, ideas, and solutions to focus on critical issues that are of high importance and common across a wide range of advocates dedicated to advancing patient health.

About Sanofi
Sanofi, a global and diversified 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, rare diseases, 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 or call 1-800-981-2491.

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December 12, 2012