A Conversation With David Roth
By Candace Sindelman, Sag Harbor Press, Sag Harbor, New York
The Sag Harbor summer resident, co-chair of the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA), and victim of Lyme disease talks about the “TBDA Diagnostic X Prize,” a global competition to develop a fail-safe diagnostic tool for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
What inspired the TBDA to team up with the X Prize Foundation?
One of the biggest challenges for patients with Lyme disease is lack of a good diagnostic tool. As a result, people don’t get diagnosed as early as they should. We want to eradicate the disease and promote awareness, and through better diagnostic tools make a big dent in relieving human suffering that comes from the disease. We have been working with the X Prize foundation for about a year. They were so successful with their contest to jump start the commercial space industry, taking a small amount of money and leveraging it. They now have a focus in solving other world problems. Speaking to them they recognized how much suffering and confusion has come out of this disease and developed a competition. The winning prize could be $5 million, $7 million, 10 million, I don’t know yet. But it will be a large entrepreneurial opportunity and a way [for the winner] to harness the power of the market. Dozens have already contacted us to participate since they all think they have the greatest test since sliced bread. It’s terrific, it’s great competition.
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