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Challenge AstraZeneca Challenge: 
<em>In Vitro</em> Proximal Tubule Model Systems
AstraZeneca Challenge: In Vitro Proximal Tubule Model Systems
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 83
Posted: May 13 2015
Challenge ID: 9933749
 
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Abstract

The proximal tubule, a part of the kidney nephron (the functional unit of the kidney), has highly specialized properties to do with the salvage and excretion of various compounds, salts and minerals that are very important to the body and would otherwise be lost in the urine. In addition, the proximal tubule is essential for the handling of many drugs and so-called xenobiotics that come from outside the body and from the environment (e.g., many artificial substances, including potential toxins). However, there are no good human models in vitro that can recapitulate and reproduce the function of the proximal tubule.   A robust model for the proximal tubule is needed, especially since the proximal tubule has an essential role in drug clearance, because it is highly susceptible to damage in many kidney diseases, and it is also a target for drug-drug interactions and drug toxicity. Development of a proximal tubule model system in vitro could help to address some of the gaps in laboratory models for the study of kidney disease, toxicity, and drug handling. 

AstraZeneca is seeking innovative approaches to developing a model system of the proximal tubule in vitro. Ideally, the model should incorporate a self-contained microphysiological unit in which biologically appropriate media, fluid flow, and shear stress can be modulated to reproduce the properties of the proximal tubule in vivo and ultimately recapitulate the structural and cellular conditions necessary for integrated proximal tubular function. 

This is an ideation challenge and only requires a written solution.

Overview

Currently, there are no good human in vitro models that reflect the function of the intact mammalian proximal tubule, which reabsorbs filtered sodium and water, but also has specific mechanisms for reabsorption of glucose, low molecular weight proteins, amino acids, urate and phosphate, as well as the handling of weak acids and bases, and xenobiotics, including many drugs. The proximal tubule can be severely affected in kidney injury and disease, and is also a target for drug-drug interactions and drug toxicity. Development of a proximal tubule model system, as opposed to another ‘simple’ cell culture monolayer, could address some of the gaps in suitable models in vitro for studying kidney disease, drug toxicity, and DMPK. 

AstraZeneca is seeking innovative approaches to developing a model system of the proximal tubule in vitro. Ideally, the model should incorporate a self-contained microphysiological unit in which biologically appropriate media, fluid flow, and shear stress can be modulated to reproduce the properties of the proximal tubule in vivo and ultimately recapitulate the structural and cellular conditions necessary for integrated proximal tubular function. 

ABOUT THE SEEKER

AstraZeneca is a global, research-based, biopharmaceutical company with a focus on five key therapeutic areas: 1) cardiovascular & metabolic diseases, 2) oncology, 3) respiratory, inflammation & autoimmunity, 4) neuroscience, and 5) infection. As an innovation-driven, research organization, AstraZeneca recognizes that great ideas come from many sources. Open innovation is an avenue by which ideas can be shared and AstraZeneca recently launched a pavilion to further its commitment to facilitate the advancement of pharmaceutical research. 

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $15,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $7,500 and no award being smaller than $2,500. 
  • Submission forwarding occurs during the Challenge.  Since submissions will be forwarded to the Seeker throughout the Challenge, please make sure you upload only a finished proposal. You can submit an updated version of your proposal only as a new submission. If you submit an updated version of your proposal, please clearly indicate the new items and/or edits compared to your previous submission. This will allow the Seeker to quickly find the new information and determine how it improves your submission. 
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solvers grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June 26, 2015.  Late submissions will not be considered.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submitted a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.

 

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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