Stage II is designed as a 'stepping stone' between the initial research of Stage I and the robust demonstration of functional recovery in Stage III. In Stage II, the challenge is to demonstrate statistically significant (rather than functionally significant, as in Stage III) results in animals and humans, performed in chronic injury models. A total of four prizes will be awarded, two prizes of $500,000 in the animal category and two prizes of $500,000 in the human category. The winners will be determined in the sixth year of the Challenge program.
The goal for the Animal Stepping Stone Prize is to prove the effectiveness and safety of a treatment while showing its potential translation to humans. This will be done through a submitted application for a certificate to start human clinical trials. The goal for the Human Stepping Stone Prize is to show significant improvement in humans in at least one target function of humans. These could be functions such as bowel and bladder control, sexual function, reaching and grasping and over-ground walking. Exact details of Stage II requirements will be released closer to the time.