March 24, 2021

Lyfebulb and CSL Behring Announce the Finalists for the 2021 Transplant Innovation Challenge

Finalists will compete for a $25,000 award

NEW YORK, NY and KING OF PRUSSIA, PA, USA March 24, 2021 – Lyfebulb, a patient-empowerment innovation accelerator that bridges the gap between patient communities and the healthcare industry, and CSL Behring, a global biotherapeutics leader driven by its promise to save and improve lives, announce the eleven patient entrepreneurs selected as finalists for the 2021 Innovation Challenge: Thriving with Transplantation.

  • Dr. Nick Housby, Co-Founder & CEO of Accunea
  • Dra. Isabel Portero, Founder & CEO of Biohope Scientific Solutions
  • Patrick Sullivan, Co-Founder of HeartBrothers Foundation
  • Alon Magal, Co-Founder & CEO of HeroKi
  • Tim Fitzpatrick, Co-Founder & CEO of IKONA Health
  • Dr. Ann Chokas, Founder of Life4ward
  • Uwe Diegel, CEO of Lifeina
  • Dr. Minnie Sarwal, Founder and CEO of Nephrosant
  • Jack O’Meara, Co-Founder and CEO of Ochre Bio
  • Scott Alpard, Co-Founder & COO of RealTime Clinic
  • Dr. Petter Björquist, CEO of VERIGRAFT

Lyfebulb and CSL Behring’s mission within the Challenge is to identify new ways and meaningful solutions to help organ transplant recipients, donors, and family members better manage their numerous daily challenges and improve overall quality of life. The eleven finalists selected to compete at the Challenge were chosen based on the potential of their innovative ventures to address these issues, as well as their personal story sparking the launch of their company.

“Improving the transplantation process and empowering patients and their family members to succeed in their complex journeys is our ultimate goal within this initiative and partnership with CSL Behring,” said Karin Hehenberger, MD, PhD, Founder & CEO, Lyfebulb. “We see great potential in the solutions put forth by this diverse set of finalists to make a lasting impact on the transplant community and look forward to accelerating their development through this initiative and beyond.”

The finalists will pitch their companies’ solutions to an expert panel of judges comprised of healthcare industry, medical, and patient leaders on May 13, 2021. The jury will ultimately select one winner to be awarded a $25,000 monetary grant to further the growth of their company. The judging panel will include:

  • Lloyd Ratner, MD, MPH, FACS, Professor of Surgery, Director, Renal and Pancreatic Transplantation at Columbia University Medical Center
  • Jeff Hoffman, Partner, Chief Development Officer at Havas Health & You
  • Lara Abounayan, Heart Transplant Patient Ambassador, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate at Healing the Hurt Consulting
  • Stephen Squinto, PHD, Executive Partner at OrbiMed Advisors
  • Alex Tulchinsky, Chief Technology Officer at United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)

“The range of ideas represented by these finalists is inspiring and demonstrates exactly why we partnered with Lyfebulb on this unique initiative,” said Kevin Kovaleski, Vice President, Global Commercial Development, Transplant, CSL Behring. “We look forward to these great concepts evolving into meaningful innovation for the transplant community and are proud to support this challenge that so closely aligns with CSL Behring’s longstanding commitment to innovation.”

Beyond the pitch competition, the Challenge will provide opportunities for the finalists and participating guests to exchange ideas and insights about how to further advance patient innovation in the transplant community and impact change. To learn more about the Challenge, please visit:

About Lyfebulb

Lyfebulb is an innovation accelerator that bridges the gap between patient communities and the healthcare industry by working directly with patients and care partners to generate insights and build new solutions to reduce the burden of living with chronic disease. Lyfebulb operates across 11 disease states and counting. See, FacebookTwitterInstagram, LinkedIn, and Karin Hehenberger LinkedIn.

About CSL Behring

CSL Behring is a global biotherapeutics leader driven by its promise to save lives. Focused on serving patients’ needs by using the latest technologies, we develop and deliver innovative therapies that are used to treat coagulation disorders, primary immune deficiencies, hereditary angioedema, respiratory disease, and neurological disorders. The company’s products are also used in cardiac surgery, burn treatment and to prevent hemolytic disease of the newborn.

CSL Behring operates one of the world’s largest plasma collection networks, CSL Plasma. The parent company, CSL Limited (ASX:CSL;USOTC:CSLLY), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, employs more than 27,000 people, and delivers its life-saving therapies to people in more than 100 countries. For inspiring stories about the promise of biotechnology, visit Vita and follow us on

For more information:

Lyfebulb Contact:

Karin Hehenberger, MD, PhD

CEO & Founder, Lyfebulb

Phone: + 1 917-575-0210


CSL Behring Contact:

Jennifer Purdue

External Communications Manager, CSL Behring

Phone: +1 610-306-9355