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Novel Models of Airway Smooth Muscle (ASM) Remodeling in Severe Asthma

STATUS: Awarded
ACTIVE SOLVERS: 139
POSTED: Sep 15 2015
SOURCE: InnoCentive

1. The Challenge and qualification for the award

Airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells exhibit an altered phenotype in patients suffering from severe asthma. Some of the functional changes include increased cell proliferation, larger cell size, reduced airway elasticity, and hypersecretion of inflammatory cytokines. The pathways leading to the observed disease pathology and physiological changes are not fully understood. Boehringer Ingelheim (the Seeker) desires a novel in vitro and/or in vivo model to mimic ASM remodeling in severe asthma. 

Submitted solutions that meet the Solution Requirements according to this InnoCentive Challenge Statement will be considered for an award of $50,000. However, the Seeker may (i) not award any solution if none of the submitted proposals meet all Solution Requirements or (ii) award only the solution of the highest overall quality. The consideration for an award requires the willingness and ability of the Solver to provide the Seeker with a non-exclusive license regarding all intellectual property related to the Challenge according to the terms of the InnoCentive Theoretical (Non-Exclusive License) Challenge-Specific Agreement. 

2. Additional application for Research Funding

In addition to consideration for the award(s), Solvers with appropriate qualifications and expertise having access to a suitable research laboratory and equipment can apply for research funding (“Research Funding”) to execute a research plan that is proposed in the submitted solution. The objective of the research plan is to identify potential targets for asthma treatment and elucidate the signaling pathway(s) involved in the functional differences between healthy and asthmatic ASM cells. The requested funding should not exceed a funding period of 2 years and a total budget of $200,000. The selection of candidates for Research Funding will be conducted after completion of the Challenge and will require the submission of additional information. The decision to fund research will be at the sole discretion of the Seeker. 

The Challenge according to No. 1 requires only a written proposal. Qualified Solvers can, in addition, apply for Research Funding according to No. 2. Solvers may be awarded for the (i) submitted solution and may be (ii) selected for Research Funding independently of being awarded. In particular, selection of a solution for the award does not automatically lead to a selection for Research Funding and vice versa.

Submissions to this Challenge including additional optional application for Research Funding must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on November 15, 2015. Late submissions will not be considered.

 

Challenge ID: 9933777
 
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Challenge Overview

THE CHALLENGE

Airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells have altered function in patients suffering from severe asthma. Known changes of airway remodeling include hyperplasia, hypertrophy, mitochondrial dysfunction, and impaired contraction rate. Furthermore altered extracellular matrix protein profiles and hypersecretion of cytokines are reported in literature. The pathways and cellular interactions leading to bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation are not well characterized with respect to disease progression. Boehringer Ingelheim (the Seeker) desires a novel in vitro and/or in vivo model to mimic ASM remodeling in severe asthma. 

Submitted solutions that meet the Solution Requirements according to this InnoCentive Challenge Statement will be considered for up an award of $50,000. However, the Seeker may (i) not award any solution if none of the submitted proposals meet all Solution Requirements or (ii) award only the solution of the highest overall quality. The consideration for an award requires the willingness and ability of the Solver to provide the Seeker with a non-exclusive license regarding all intellectual property related to the Challenge according to the terms of the InnoCentive Theoretical (Non-Exclusive License) Challenge-Specific Agreement. 

All Solvers that submit a proposed solution will be notified on the outcome of their submissions. 

APPLICATION FOR RESEARCH FUNDING

Solvers with appropriate qualification and expertise having access to a suitable research laboratory and equipment can, in addition, apply for Research Funding to execute the research plan that is proposed in the solution. The requested funding should not exceed a funding period of 2 years and a total budget of $200,000. The selection of candidates for Research Funding will be conducted after completion of the Challenge and will require the submission of additional information. The decision to fund research will be at the sole discretion of the Seeker. 

InnoCentive will inform Solvers considered for Research Funding within 60 days after completion of the Challenge and will provide Seeker contact information to negotiate a research collaboration. The definitive research plan, amount of funding, and the contractual details of the research collaboration will be negotiated with the Solver and his/her responsible institutional representatives after acceptance of the research plan. 

The Challenge requires only a written proposal. Qualified solvers can, in addition, apply for Research Funding. Solvers may be awarded for the (i) submitted solution and may be (ii) selected for Research Funding independently of being awarded. In particular, selection of a solution for the award does not automatically lead to a selection for Research Funding and vice versa.

ABOUT THE SEEKER

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates globally with 146 affiliates and a total of more than 47,700 employees. The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is researching, developing, manufacturing, and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. For over 90 years, Boehringer Ingelheim has been a leader in the treatment of respiratory disease. The company has developed and continues to explore a pipeline of unique compounds to help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases. 

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 a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge?

An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge, meaning that the Seeker is requesting non-exclusive rights to use the winning solution. By contrast, Theoretical-IP Transfer means that Solvers must relinquish all rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) for which they are awarded. For these forms of a Theoretical Challenge, Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.

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