1. The Challenge and qualification for the award
Allergy or atopy is one of the main causes for developing a chronic asthmatic condition including severe asthma. The worldwide prevalence of allergic diseases and asthma has risen steadily over the last five decades, limits activities and social interactions of the affected people and drives a substantial increase in health care costs. Exogenous allergen exposure (e.g. pollen, molds, house dust mite, food ingredients) normally leads to adaptive reaction of the immune system inducing tolerance to the challenging protein. In a subset of people the same encounter leads to progressive sensitization of the immune system leading to chronic inflammation especially of the airways. Boehringer Ingelheim (the Seeker) desires novel scientific approaches that stop the progression of allergic disorders into asthma, drive a rebalancing of innate and adaptive immune responses with the goal to induce tolerance and ultimately prevent asthma. The proposed strategy must be based on novel pre-clinical molecular target ideas or treatment modalities applicable to the human disease condition.
All submitted solutions will be considered for the award. There will be a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution. The total payout will be $20,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $3,000.
2. Additional application for Research Funding
In addition to consideration for the award for the submitted solutions, 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 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 this Challenge and will require the submission of additional information. The decision to fund research will be at the discretion of the Seeker.
Submissions to this Challenge including additional optional application for Research Funding must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on February 14, 2016. Late submissions will not be considered.
With the exception of allergen-specific immunotherapy, all current treatment approaches of allergies are aimed at symptom control. Although this therapy has shown some successes, treatment cycles take several years and treatment might display significant patient to patient variability in terms of efficacy and safety. Altogether, there is significant unmet medical need in adequately interfering with the irrevocable progression of allergic conditions into asthmatic disease. Boehringer Ingelheim (the Seeker) looks for innovative ideas that aim at interfering with the disease progression from novel, scientifically unprecedented angles. In particular, it desires novel scientific approaches with the goal to induce tolerance and ultimately prevent asthma. The proposed strategy must be based on novel pre-clinical molecular target ideas or treatment modalities applicable to the human disease condition and would ideally deplete allergen presenting cells (e.g. dendritic cells, B cells and/or allergen-specific T cells or innate lymphoid cells (ILCs)) in allergic patients including asthma without compromising the general immune system.
This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:
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.
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.
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 submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.
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 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:
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.