Oct 8 2015

Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced he is co-sponsoring the Ensuring Useful Research Expenditures is Key for Alzheimer’s (EUREKA) Act, which creates prized-based incentives to encourage more public-private collaboration.
The EUREKA Act, introduced by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), would authorize the Director of the NIH to work with other federal agencies to establish prize challenges informed by the research milestones contained in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease. Challenges could focus in a number of areas including:
  • Identification and validation of Alzheimer’s biomarkers;
  • Development of non-invasive and cost-effective early detection and diagnostic tools;
  • Repurposing of existing drugs to address Alzheimer’s disease; and
  • Development of new tools and approaches to care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease.
An advisory council that would include experts in organizing and managing such challenges as well as patient advocates and industry representatives will be constituted to determine the competitions, while a separate judging panel will evaluate submissions and make recommendations for awards to the Director of NIH.
Prize challenges enable government sponsors to pay only when a prize team achieves specified goals or milestones. Although funds will be authorized and reserved for awards, prizes will only be granted when teams achieve clearly defined objectives, making the EUREKA Act a cost-effective tool. Additionally, the EUREKA Act would permit the receipt of donations from the private sector and from individuals to fund the competition and build the award fund.
“I am pleased to support the bipartisan EUREKA Act, which will encourage more public-private collaboration to combat Alzheimer’s disease,” said Senator Tillis. “We have seen how public-private partnerships can result in scientific breakthroughs with other diseases, and the EUREKA Act can help in the advancement of detection tools and improvement of care for the millions of Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease.”