Please note that the details of this Challenge are no longer open. This challenge is withdrawn and is no longer accepting new submissions. You can:
Challenge AstraZeneca Challenge: Robust Online In Vivo Measurement of Biomarker Concentrations
AstraZeneca Challenge: Robust Online In Vivo Measurement of Biomarker Concentrations
Award:  $25,000 USD
Deadline: Withdrawn
Active Solvers: 134
Posted: Mar 18 2016
Challenge ID: 9933827
Team Project Rooms are available on this Challenge Team Share Challenge Share

On-line monitoring through smart phones and other devices is revolutionizing healthcare. Patients with a variety of diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes and asthma are now able to collect valuable personal information to help manage their disease. On-line monitoring devices will continue to play a part in healthcare, with invasive and non-invasive devices emerging that could transform medical care and the pharmaceutical industry. One important aspect of designing new medicines, is to provide maximum therapeutic benefit while providing minimum side effects, also referred to as the therapeutic margin for a drug. Prior to clinical evaluation, extensive studies using animal models are carried out to establish the therapeutic margin for a compound. These studies can be challenging in terms of understanding potential toxicological risks, determining when to look for these effects, and monitoring multiple parameters simultaneously for an extended time. These gaps ultimately limit our ability to understand novel medicines prior to clinical trials. As such, we seek a minimum invasive technology that can provide a solution to monitoring drug levels and biomarkers of toxicity and efficacy longitudinally in preclinical species in real-time.               

There are some technologies available currently that are moving towards continuous online measurement but they have been optimized for one analyte (e.g. glucose), are not sufficiently small to be used with animals, and do not transmit data wirelessly from the subject. AstraZeneca intends to make an award of $25,000 for a solution that provides a new implantable measurement technology that meets our technical requirements.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, experimental proof-of-concept data, and sample delivery.


Health care is moving towards smart online devices such as wearable blood glucose monitors, smart phone apps that allow patients to log their symptoms, and “fitbits” that allow people to monitor their daily activity. We would like to apply similar on-line monitoring strategies to drug development. This would involve measuring in real time drug concentrations as well as markers of drug efficacy and toxicity. Such online longitudinal measurement of small molecules, proteins or metabolites has the potential to impact the way that pharmacology and toxicology are investigated in vivo. The advantage would be richer data sets while at the same time reducing the number of studies that would need to be run. Currently in the clinic, and pre-clinically, biomarkers of efficacy, toxicity and compound pharmacokinetics (PK) are accessed by invasive venous bleeds, thus restricting the number of time points that can be collected and so limiting the information coming from an experiment. Already there are examples of the use of sensors for specific molecules, such as glucose, being used in the clinic to great effect. AstraZeneca seeks to develop a generic device that can allow real time measurement of the concentrations of multiple biomarkers in blood and possibly other tissues.

The submission to the Challenge should include the following:

  1. The detailed description of the proposed Solution addressing specific Solution Requirements presented in the Detailed Description of the Challenge. This description should be accompanied by a well-articulated rationale supported by literature/patent precedents.
  2. Experimental proof-of-concept data obtained as outlined in the Detailed Description of the Challenge.
  3. The Seeker will determine which Solutions merit experimental validation. Solvers will be notified if and when to ship their prototype.  

The Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted prototype by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions. In addition, the Seeker will have a six month Exclusive Option period from the deadline during which they hold an exclusive option to negotiate with the Solver for full transfer of the Solution IP.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June 17, 2016. Late submissions will not be considered.


AstraZeneca is a global, research-based, biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of disease in three main therapy areas: respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune disease (RIA), cardiovascular and metabolic disease (CVMD) and oncology – as well as in infection and neuroscience. 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.

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 RTP Challenge?

An InnoCentive RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to an InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of IP rights, please see the Challenge-Specific Agreement.

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