Memphis company wins innovation challenge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Memphis-based company that has developed vaccination pellets to try to prevent the spread of Lyme disease has won the $1 million Global Food and Health Innovation Challenge prize.

US Biologic CEO Mason Kauffman says Lyme disease spreads to humans through ticks, who get the bacteria through mice. The Tennessean ( ) says the company, through work by Maria Gomes-Solecki at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, has developed the pellets, which can be spread in backyards or campgrounds, inoculating mice when they’re consumed.

Kauffman says the idea is to stop the disease and avoid spending on treatments and cures. And the method can be used in other diseases that come from wildlife.

The award Tuesday was part of the Global South Summit in Nashville. More than 200 applicants competed in the challenge. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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