Targeted Differentiation Strategy for a Multiple Sclerosis Therapy

$20,000 USD

Challenge overview


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, which can lead to impaired vision, loss of balance or coordination, fatigue, and muscle weakness among many other symptoms that patients may experience. The cause of MS is unknown, and a complete cure is not available. However, there are therapies that may slow down the disease progression.1-3 Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2020, ofatumumab is a self-administered SC, targeted B-cell therapy for patients with relapsing MS.4,5 Novartis is looking for additional ways to medically differentiate ofatumumab.

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



Affecting approximately 2.5 million people worldwide, the typical onset of MS occurs between 20 and 40 years of age, with a greater prevalence in women compared to men.2 Patients with MS have difficulty performing tasks associated with everyday activities and self-care, which leads to a lower quality of life.7
There are 4 distinct disease courses: clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS), and secondary progressive MS (SPMS).8 As the name suggests, RRMS is characterized by relapses interspersed with periods of remission; however, there is disease
progression that leads to increasing disability over time.9

Approximately 85 percentage of patients with MS are initially diagnosed with RRMS.10 In clinical trials ofatumumab has been shown to be safe and efficacious and can be self-administered at home without need for premedication. Clinical trials demonstrated that the treatment produced a reduction in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) lesions, reducing relapses and slowing underlying disease progression.Novartis is looking for additional approaches to medically differentiate ofatumumab in RMS, including generation of new data.

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 with respect to 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 July 15, 2022. 

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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