InnoCentive and The Chordoma Foundation Initiate Challenge Seeking Development of New Cell Lines for Research and Drug Testing

By Wazoku

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WALTHAM, Mass. – July 14, 2010 – InnoCentive, Inc., the world leader in open innovation, today announced it has issued a Challenge with the Chordoma Foundation. The Challenge seeks to find new cell lines to be used for research and development and is open to participants from any discipline or background. The Challenge will run for 150 days through December 2010. The Chordoma Foundation plans to award up to 10 prizes at $10,000 each for this Challenge.

Chordoma is a bone cancer that occurs in the head and spine and diagnosed in approximately 300 people a year in the U.S. There are few effective treatments and as a result most chordoma patients ultimately succumb to their disease. The Foundation’s mission is to rapidly develop effective treatments and ultimately find a cure by proactively initiating outcome-oriented research and breaking down the barriers to progress. Key to this effort is addressing the need for multiple, well-characterized chordoma cell lines to be used for research and drug testing. It is estimated that more than 30 percent of all cancer cell lines developed for research are contaminated or misidentified, making the need to validate cell lines paramount to finding a cure, especially for an under-studied disease like chordoma. The Chordoma Foundation makes validated chordoma cell lines available to researchers across the world, and has already distributed one cell line to 26 different labs.

“Creating chordoma cell lines has proven challenging, and appears to be more of an art than a science,” offered Josh Sommer, executive director of the Chordoma Foundation. “We want to spur a lot of people to try their luck at creating chordoma cell lines, and we are hoping that this prize will incent someone to come up with a novel technique that succeeds. Developing new cell lines will quickly enable dozens of researchers to move forward with research that could lead to life-saving discoveries.”

Sommer was diagnosed with chordoma in 2006 and started the Foundation with his mother in 2007, bringing together a team of over 100 leading researchers to develop a research roadmap.  It was determined that access to cell lines was a major factor hindering the progress of drug testing and research collaboration. The Foundation has raised $1.4 million and has helped to fund chordoma research in seven different labs across the world. The Chordoma Foundation stays in touch with nearly all researchers who are currently studying chordoma, and facilitates communication and collaboration between these groups to speed the pace of discovery.

“I’m encouraged to see a Challenge of this type be given the power of a global community of potential Solvers to help find new ways to cure diseases like this one,” said Dwayne Spradlin, InnoCentive CEO. “I hope this Challenge encourages many of our Solvers to tap into their various backgrounds to collaborate and bring new cell lines forward.”


About The Chordoma Foundation


The Chordoma Foundation is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that unites patients, doctors, and scientists to accelerate the development of effective treatments, and ultimately a cure, for chordoma, while improving the diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life for people affected by this deadly bone cancer.  It was started in 2007 by Dr. Simone Sommer and her son Josh after he was diagnosed with a chordoma in 2006, during his freshman year at Duke University. With the input of a diverse group of advisors from around the world, the Foundation has created a comprehensive roadmap for fast-tracking the search for a cure. In addition to strategically funding research critical for advancing the research roadmap, the Foundation proactively recruits new researchers to study chordoma, initiates new projects, brokers collaborations and breaks down barriers to progress.


About InnoCentive, Inc.


Since 2001, InnoCentive has helped corporate, government, and non-profit organizations to better innovate through crowdsourcing, strategic consulting services and internal Software-as-a-Service offerings.  The company built the first global Web community for open innovation where organizations or “Seekers” submit complex problems or “Challenges” for resolution to a “Solver” community of more than 200,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business professionals, and research organizations in more than 200 countries. Prizes for winning solutions are financial awards up to US $1,000,000.  Committed to unleashing diverse thinking, InnoCentive continues to introduce new products and services exemplifying a new corporate model where return to investors and individual passion go hand in hand with solving mankind’s most pressing problems.


For more information contact:


Michele Moore
Emerge PR for InnoCentive

Connie French
InnoCentive Marketing Director

By Wazoku

Wazoku is an innovation SaaS business that helps some of the world’s biggest organizations to innovate at scale. Whether it’s making the most of your employee's ideas, identifying new partners to collaborate with, or exploring the boundless potential of open innovation – or all three! – Wazoku makes innovation happen.