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New Solutions for Targeted Gene Therapy

STATUS: Awarded
ACTIVE SOLVERS: 152
POSTED: Apr 06 2016
SOURCE: InnoCentive

1. The Challenge and qualification for the award

Gene therapy is a technique that is used to treat genetic diseases at a molecular level. In order for gene therapy to be effective, researchers must package DNA into safe vectors that can target different cell types, while minimizing the immune response in patients. Modified viruses are often used to deliver genetic material and in particular the high transduction efficiencies of adeno-associated viral vectors allow them to deliver genes to both dividing and non-dividing cells. However, targeted transfection of cells has not been fully achieved. Therefore, Boehringer Ingelheim (the Seeker) desires new approaches to AAV-mediated gene therapy with improved tissue or cell type specific targeting. 

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 $15,000, with the possibility to distribute it amongst one or more Solvers, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000. 

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 the research plan that is proposed in the solution. The requested funding should not exceed a funding period of 2 years. 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 June 5, 2016. Late submissions will not be considered.

Challenge ID: 9933852
 
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Challenge Overview

THE CHALLENGE

Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) are small viruses, members of the Parvoviridae family, which infect humans and some other primate species. AAVs have attracted considerable interest for gene therapy application due to well established features like lack of pathogenicity, wide range of infectivity, and ability to establish long-term transgene expression and efficacy. However, AAVs have not been optimized for organ-specific transgene expression. Therefore, Boehringer Ingelheim (the Seeker) desires new approaches to selectively target tissues or cell types (e.g. but not limited to lung, central nervous system, eye, muscle, intestine) with AAV-mediated gene therapy following systemic administration. 

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

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The award(s) will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $15,000, with the possibility to distribute it amongst one or more Solvers, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000. 

  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solvers grant to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal according to the terms and conditions as laid down in the InnoCentive Ideation Challenge-Specific Agreement.

  • 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. 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 for the development of the research collaboration as applicable. 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 following mutual 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. The Research Beyond Borders (RBB) function in the Discovery Research organization explores emerging science and technologies for and beyond our core research therapeutic areas creating new approaches and capabilities to discover and develop new treatments for patients. This allows us to capture breakthrough opportunities and prepare timely paths to entry for our therapeutic areas of today and the future. High priority areas include new target spaces such as the gut microbiome and hearing disorders, therapeutic approaches including regenerative medicine, and technologies such as gene therapy.

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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