At the LymeMind conference, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation announced that they partnered together to launch the largest Lyme initiative ever, the LymeX Innovative Accelerator (LYME X). Private and public funding has dedicated $25 million to this initiative. The Lyme X mission is to strategically advance Lyme and tick-borne disease solutions in direct collaboration with Lyme patients, patient advocates, and diverse stakeholders across academia, nonprofits, industry, and government.
Lyme X will utilize the $25 million for Lyme Innovation progress, education, awareness, and challenge prizes for diagnostic testing. What makes this initiative so exciting is that they will include many stakeholders to represent everyone, and we can progress quicker. Lyme X brings together patients, government organizations, doctors, scientists, academia, and innovators to help move the needle for Lyme awareness, diagnosis, and treatment.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar stated, “The new $25 million LymeX effort is the largest Lyme disease public-private partnership ever and will help support next-generation science and innovation to address the disease’s growing burden.”
The government funding towards Lyme X is in addition to the already increased government funding for Lyme. In December 2019, President Trump signed the Kay Hagan Tick Act, which authorized an additional $150 million for Lyme and vector-borne diseases over the next five years. The US government is now prioritizing Lyme disease, shown by the LymeX partnership, and demonstrated by increasing government budget.
The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation is the largest private funder of Lyme and tick-borne disease research in the United States. Alex’s journey with Lyme was the catalyst for her generous financial support and dedication to helping Lyme patients, building Lyme awareness, and finding a cure for this disease. The Lyme community is so fortunate to have The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation and the current momentum in the US Government. Hopefully, we will see a diagnostic tool and cure not too far off in the future, so the many in pain can get to living their lives.