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 This challenge is withdrawn and is no longer accepting new submissions.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: In Vitro System to Assess Gastrointestinal Toxicity
AstraZeneca Challenge: In Vitro System to Assess Gastrointestinal Toxicity
Award: $25,000 USD
Deadline: Withdrawn
Active Solvers: 114
Posted: Aug 24 2016
Challenge ID: 9933828
Team Project Rooms are available on this Challenge. Team Share Challenge Share

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the system of organs by which food is ingested and digested, nutrients are absorbed, and waste products are eliminated. GI cell proliferation is essential for maintaining normal physiological function and integrity of the protective epithelial barrier, however, as many GI cells turn over at a rapid rate, normal function and barrier maintenance are highly sensitive to toxic insults. When drug-induced GI toxicity occurs, either by cytotoxicity, inhibition of cell proliferation, or adverse pharmacological effect on receptors and enzymes, damage manifests with a variety of clinical symptoms including nausea, vomiting, ulceration, and diarrhea. It is essential to understand and minimize these consequences, thus AstraZeneca seeks a translationally relevant in vitro model to investigate gastrointestinal toxicity onset and recovery. 

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


The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is commonly affected by the toxicity experienced with cancer chemotherapy because cytotoxic drugs do not differentiate between normal cells undergoing proliferation and rapidly growing cancer cells. Patients who are unable to tolerate this side effect may need to modify their dosing regimen, thereby lessening the therapeutic efficacy of treatment. Therefore, AstraZeneca seeks an in vitro model to investigate gastrointestinal toxicity onset and recovery. At the conclusion of the Challenge, AstraZeneca may consider further collaboration with the winning Solver to generate additional data to support a joint publication and explore additional applications. 

The submission to the Challenge should include the following: 

  1. An explanation of the proposed Solution addressing specific Solution Requirements presented in the Detailed Description of the Challenge. This should be accompanied by a succinct rationale for how the criteria can be met.
  2. Experimental proof-of-concept data obtained as outlined in the Detailed Description of the Challenge should be received by October 24, 2016 for consideration.
  3. Submissions will be reviewed as they are received and AstraZeneca will determine which Solutions merit experimental validation. Solvers will be contacted to discuss the study design and sign the required documents prior to receiving a shipment of proprietary compounds for testing. 

The Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted Solutions 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. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on February 21, 2017. 

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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