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June 16, 2016
By Alex Kopelyan
IndieBio and NIH’s National Institute Drug Abuse announce collaboration on $100k Startup Challenge
IndieBio and NIH's National Institute Drug Abuse announce collaboration on $100k Startup Challenge

IndieBio and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA ), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) are excited to announce a historic new collaboration aimed at accelerating the formation of biotech startups which will tackle the issues of drug abuse and addiction in the USA via the “$100K to Start a SUD Startup” Challenge.

Estimated at seven hundred billion dollars a year in total cost to the economy, drug abuse is one of biggest health-related issues in the country. Drug use and substance use disorders (SUDs) affect millions of Americans and impose enormous costs on society. In 2014, nearly 27 million people in the U.S. were current users of illicit drugs or misused prescription drugs.

This collaboration looks for biomedical and psychological approaches to treating or preventing SUD by taking basic research and creating a startup to commercialize the application of the underlying technology. “We built IndieBio next to 6th street, an area of San Francisco that has a high concentration of drug abuse because we believe it is important to be part of change in whatever you do.” Said Arvind Gupta, Managing Director of IndieBio.

Ryan Bethencourt, IndieBio Program Director continues, “We see the effects of drug abuse and its criminalization daily and believe there must be a better way to help those affected by this disease. Working with NIDA to help scientists start startups is what we are already set up to do. Drug abuse is a huge and seemingly impossible problem, exactly the type of challenge we like to take on.”

In 2016, NIDA will be awarding $10,000 prizes to 10 winners of the Challenge contest. The Challenge is to turn a research idea into a working prototype of the product. If the product prototype is successfully validated, it is expected that the decision to create a biotech startup will be made no later than 6 months after the prize is awarded.

If you are a researcher who believes your work could qualify and you think you can change the world with your technology, please apply today!

For more info on the $100,000 for Start a SUD Startup Challenge, please visit: www.challenge.gov/challenge/100000-for-start-a-sud-startup/

About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy, improve practice, and advance addiction science. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found at www.drugabuse.gov.

About IndieBio:

IndieBio is short for Independent Biology, a new way for scientists, entrepreneurs, and tinkerers to shape their own destiny and make something that matters. Funded out of the SOS Ventures, IndieBio is the first accelerator to exclusively focus on life science startups. IndieBio provides seed funding and intensive mentorship to drive the transition of ideas from bench to prototype within three months, and launching graduate companies with disruptive technologies into the world of biotechnology. For more information on IndieBio please visit: http://sf.indie.bio/