I'm proud to have been a part of launching BeyondPolio with Dr. Peter Salk and Spencer Trask & Co. Winners of the first Challenge via InnoCentive were announced this week. BeyondPolio is dedicated to assisting the global effort to eradicate polio and maintain success once eradication is achieved.
“One of the problems we face is that OPV continues to reintroduce potentially paralyzing polioviruses in areas where it is used, since the vaccine contains weakened viruses that can mutate back to a virulent form,” said Dr. Peter Salk, President of the Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation. “IPV, which is used in over 50 wealthier countries, does not have that problem, but it is currently unaffordable for widespread use in low- and middle-income countries. Reducing its cost and making it easier to apply will go a long way toward helping push poliovirus infection to extinction.”
This successful Ideation Challenge asked participants to identify promising approaches to significantly reducing the cost of using IPV in countries where it is currently unaffordable. Over a two-month period, the Challenge attracted 432 Solvers and more than 50 solutions were submitted. Entries were reviewed by experts in the field of polio research and eradication, and by Dr. Peter Salk, son of Dr. Jonas Salk, the researcher who led the team that developed IPV in the early 1950s.