Increasing Awareness and Testing of a Genetic Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease

$20,000 USD

Challenge overview


According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death worldwide. While a few risk factors (eg, age, genetics) cannot be changed, some instances of heart disease can be prevented through lifestyle modifications, such as increasing physical activity, reducing stress, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding the use of alcohol and tobacco.1 Elevated lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] mediates myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. Over the past decade, data in subjects without previous CVD from epidemiological studies and meta-analyses, Mendelian randomization studies, and genome-wide association studies have conclusively shown that elevated Lp(a) levels are associated with a higher risk of CVD.2 An elevated level of Lp(a) is a cardiovascular risk factor, but currently is NOT included in routine lipid panel testing or as a one-time routine screening blood test.2,3 As a leading global medicines company, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is committed to raising awareness for Lp(a) testing for all patients.4

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.



Nearly 18 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2019, a staggering figure that represents >32% of global deaths.1 In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, with about 655,000 deaths annually.6 By making healthy choices, people can help maintain their cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar at normal levels, thus lowering their risk for heart disease.7 An emerging risk factor, lipoprotein(a) – known as lipoprotein “little a” or Lp(a)8 – is associated with a two- to four-fold increased risk of heart attacks.9-11 It can easily be measured by a blood test and it is estimated that 20% of people have elevated levels.15 Lp(a) levels are genetically determined (inherited) and there is growing evidence that high Lp(a) is linked to heart disease in teenagers and younger adults, with no known cardiovascular risks.2,9 It is estimated that <1% of patients with heart disease in the US had their Lp(a) measured in routine clinical practice.12-14 Novartis is searching for solutions to shine a light upon the importance of Lp(a) testing and to empower patients to advocate for testing not only for themselves, but also their loved ones, especially when a family member has an elevated Lp(a) level.

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The award(s) will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $20,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $10,000 and no award being smaller than $2,500, subject to your acceptance of the terms and conditions set forth in the Challenge Specific Agreement.
  • By submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and nonexclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes. The Solver further agrees to give the Seeker an exclusive option to obtain an exclusive license in respect of all intellectual property rights in this proposal. The period of time for Seeker to exercise the option shall be for 90 days subsequent to the payment of the guaranteed award. The Seeker shall have the right to exercise the exclusive option at the sole discretion of Seeker. Upon exercising the exclusive option, the Seeker shall pay the Solver a one-time payment. For the avoidance of doubt, this one-time payment is in addition to the aforementioned guaranteed award. If Seeker exercises its option, the Solver commits to execute documents sufficient to perfect ownership of all intellectual property rights in the proposal at no additional costs to Seeker. Seeker shall pay any incidental costs associated with perfecting such ownership.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on September 30, 2021. 

Late submissions will not be considered.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.



Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at


What is InnoCentive?

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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