Each year in the United States, an estimated 4,500 new patients are diagnosed with AL amyloidosis, a life-threatening blood cell disorder that occurs when blood plasma cells in the bone marrow produce amyloid deposits, which build up in vital organs and eventually cause organ deterioration. The disease can affect different organs in different people, but the most frequently affected organs are the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract and nervous system. Further complicating treatment for the disease, almost one-third of patients with AL amyloidosis will visit five or more physicians before being diagnosed, and nearly three-quarters are diagnosed over a year after initial symptoms occur. This can lead to a poor prognosis due to the delay in diagnosis of AL amyloidosis, which frequently presents with non-specific symptoms that can mimic other, more common conditions. As many as 30 percent of patients with AL amyloidosis die within the first year after diagnosis.
To that end, Johnson & Johnson Innovation together with Janssen Global Services invites innovators to submit ideas aimed at optimizing AL amyloidosis disease detection and early diagnosis in the Improving DEtection of AL Amyloidosis (IDEA) QuickFire Challenge. Multiple awardees with the best products, technologies, or methodologies will receive grant funding in increments up to $250,000, $150,000, and $50,000, access to the Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS ecosystem, and mentorship* from experts at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.
In AL amyloidosis, plasma cells in the bone marrow produce abnormal light chains that form amyloid deposits, which build up in vital organs and eventually cause organ deterioration. AL amyloidosis can affect different organs in different people, but the most frequently affected organs are the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, GI tract and nervous system.
Still a rare condition, diagnosis of AL amyloidosis can be delayed and symptoms may be non-specific, resulting in misdiagnosis.
Knowledge and expertise in how to measure and assess symptoms commonly seen in this population can be critical for timely diagnosis, as well as improving access to diagnostic tools and innovating the application of AI and EMR-based interventions to improve detection.
At Johnson & Johnson Innovation, we believe a good idea can come from anywhere, and it’s our goal to find new and innovative technologies that aim to provide potential solutions to patients from around the world. Working together, we can spark the next great idea that could change the trajectory of health.
We’re interested in products, technologies, or methodologies, which may be translational or clinical in nature.
We encourage applications from visionaries – including entrepreneurs/startups, hematologists, cardiologists, radiologists, and nephrologists familiar with AL amyloidosis, basic science researchers, and patient advocates – working on potentially ground-breaking ideas or technologies in AL amyloidosis that aim to:
- Increase awareness of disease symptoms and improve recognition of disease among HCPs
- Improve identification/testing of patients
- Develop blood test/biomarkers for AL amyloidosis
- Develop nuclear medicine imaging with amyloid-specific tracers
- Create AI-based screening tools
- Facilitate EMR-based research
- Produce Epidemiology studies
- Multiple grants in increments up to $250,000, $150,000, and $50,000
- Access to the Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS ecosystem
- Mentorship from experts of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies