The SUDEP Institute Challenge: Predictive Biomarkers of Epilepsy Seizures

to propose a predictive biomarker or panel of biomarkers to identify people at risk for SUDEP. The biomarker(s) must serve as an endpoint or surrogate endpoint that will drive human SUDEP interventions. For example, the biomarker(s) may identify a high risk patient group that could be used to test existing candidate interventions such as seizure detection devices in a clinical trial.

Challenge Overview
Identifying biomarkers to predict SUDEP represents a major unmet medical need. Although there are several postulated causes of SUDEP, who is at risk of mortality from epilepsy and how to prevent it remains a mystery. Emerging research shows that SUDEP can be caused by physiological changes after seizures that depress brain activity and can impair respiratory and cardiac function. SUDEP usually occurs within an hour of one or more convulsive seizures.

There are few targeted interventions that reliably predict and prevent SUDEP in people with epilepsy. Therefore, the Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute desires the identification of clinically relevant, specific and sensitive biomarkers of SUDEP to facilitate the development of a therapeutic intervention for people at high risk. Biomarkers may be genetic, structural, metabolic, physiological, etc. An ideal biomarker or biomarker panel is easily and safely measured, cost-efficient to detect, modifiable with intervention, and consistently associated with SUDEP and will drive human SUDEP interventions. The Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute recognizes that the severity and frequency of seizures is the leading risk factor for SUDEP, therefore a biomarker or biomarker panel that can be predictive of seizures (particularly convulsive seizures) will also be considered.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on May 24, 2016. Late submissions will not be considered.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker. The Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute intends to make up to 10 awards from a total award pool of up to $150,000. However, the Seeker may (i) not award any solution if none of the submitted proposals meets all Solution Requirements or (ii) award only the solution of the highest overall quality with $15,000. The awarded solution(s) will be advanced to produce proof of concept data in a subsequent Reduction to Practice Challenge which will award $1,000,000. This second Challenge may be public or by invitation only.

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