Alkermes, a global biopharmaceutical company developing medicines for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases, has awarded $1 million in funds to non-profit patient and community organizations as part of its newly launched Alkermes Inspiration GrantsTM program.
The competitive grant program was designed to fund innovative and high-impact programs to support people affected by mental health and substance use disorders, said the company in its press release issued on Thursday.
“We have learned that our efforts to develop innovative new medicines to treat those affected by mental health and substance use disorders only address part of the needs of patients and their families,” said Richard Pops, Chief Executive Officer of Alkermes. “To most effectively address the myriad of other needs of those suffering from addiction and mental illness, a whole societal infrastructure must be in place and operational. We often take this for granted, but services for these disease areas are desperately needed. This program seeks to support ideas within the community to catalyze change.”
More than 300 proposals were received from local, regional and national non-profit organizations across the United States. Ten Innovation Grants (up to $100,000) and five Emergence Grants (up to $25,000) were awarded to programs demonstrating the potential for high-impact, an ability to be replicated across the ecosystem and/or inventive, and creative approaches to support the broader needs of people in the mental health and addiction communities.
“We found both the response to the program and the high quality of the submissions to be inspiring,” commented Nikki Levy, Vice President of Patient Engagement at Alkermes. “We are excited to see the impact that the selected programs will make across the country and look forward to continuing the program next year. While we are only able to fund a limited number of the requests, we are confident that all of this year’s applicants will continue to drive change and support people affected by serious mental illness and substance use disorders.”
Awards went to large advocacy organizations, academic institutions and regional organizations. The selected programs include initiatives focused on peer support; connecting individuals to appropriate care, wellness and skill development in the criminal justice system; youth education and support services, as well as programs designed to help others understand the experience of individuals living with mental health conditions and substance use disorders, explained the company.
Selected programs were chosen by Alkermes in partnership with a group of external reviewers who represent the perspectives of the community. These reviewers included a patient advocate, a representative from the criminal justice system, a person in recovery and a caregiver. Proposals were evaluated based on a standard set of review criteria, which included potential impact, identification of need and creativity of the solution, the organization’s ability to execute, and the sustainability of the program.