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NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Lyfebulb, a patient-empowerment platform that connects patients with industry to support user-driven innovation, and Bristol Myers Squibb, a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and delivers innovative medicines to help patients prevail over serious diseases, today announced the launch of two key partnership initiatives that will source patient-driven innovation to address unmet needs in the management of multiple sclerosis (MS) and raise collective awareness about this chronic disease.

An Innovation Challenge will take place virtually in March 2021 and is open to patient entrepreneurs who have been directly affected by MS as either a patient or support partner for a loved one and whose U.S.-based companies are working to help address challenges that people living with or affected by MS face in their daily lives. Selected finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to an expert panel of judges comprised of healthcare industry, medical and patient leaders, and the winner will be awarded a $25,000 monetary grant.

Applications for the Innovation Challenge are now being accepted and will be available through December 9, 2020. More information can be found at Lyfebulb.com/innovation-award/bristol-myers-squibb-2021.

"The unpredictable and changing nature of MS symptoms leads to challenges for those living with the disease, and we're proud to be working with Lyfebulb to bring entrepreneurial members of the community together to identify meaningful, patient-driven solutions," said Tina Deignan, Vice President and US Business Unit Head of Immunology at Bristol Myers Squibb.

A series of virtual speaker sessions, leading up to the Innovation Challenge, will take place starting in October 2020 and offer MS community members the opportunity to engage in panel discussions aimed at raising collective awareness of MS and inspiring change. Speaker panels will be comprised of patient and industry leaders as well as 2019 Innovation Challenge alumni.

The speaker sessions will be open to all members of the MS community, and information about attending is available at Lyfebulb.com.

"We are thrilled to support this patient-driven innovation in MS in partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb," said Dr. Karin Hehenberger, CEO and Founder of Lyfebulb. "While great strides have been made, the burdens of MS continue to take a toll on the nearly one million people living with the disease in the US,1 and their support partners. By placing patients at the forefront and spotlighting their voice and solutions, we hope to inspire all members of the community to take charge and create positive change."

About Bristol Myers Squibb
Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.
See BMS.comLinkedInTwitterYouTubeFacebook, and Instagram.

About Lyfebulb
Lyfebulb is a chronic disease-focused patient empowerment platform that connects patients and industry to support user-driven innovation. Grounded with its strong foundation in diabetes, the company has expanded disease states covered into cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, mental health, migraine and transplantation. See Lyfebulb.comFacebookTwitterInstagramKarin Hehenberger LinkedIn, and Lyfebulb LinkedIn.

About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable and often disabling disease that affects nearly one million people in the United States.2  MS is a disease in which the immune system attacks the protective myelin sheath that covers the nerves. The myelin damage disrupts communication between the brain and the rest of the body.3 Ultimately, the nerves themselves may deteriorate — a process that's currently irreversible.4

For more information:

Bristol Myers Squibb Contact:
Claire Gillespie
Director, Corporate Affairs, U.S. Immunology Communications, Bristol Myers Squibb
Phone: +1 908-938-4343
Email: Claire.Gillespie@bms.com

Lyfebulb Contact:
Karin Hehenberger, MD, PhD
CEO & Founder, Lyfebulb
Phone: + 1 917-575-0210
Email: karin@lyfebulb.com

1 National Multiple Sclerosis Society. How Many People Live with MS? www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/How-Many-People. Accessed March 25, 2020..
2 National Multiple Sclerosis Society. MS Symptoms. https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms. Accessed September 24, 2020.  
3 National Multiple Sclerosis Society. What is Myelin? www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/Definition-of-MS/Myelin. Accessed July 07, 2020.
4 AJMC. The Pathologic Foundations of Multiple Sclerosis: Current Considerations. https://www.ajmc.com/view/the-pathologic-foundations-of-multiple-sclerosis-current-considerations. Accessed September 24, 2020.

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