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Challenge Seeking Safe Drug-like Small Organic Molecules for Human Use with Negligible Biological Effects
Seeking Safe Drug-like Small Organic Molecules for Human Use with Negligible Biological Effects
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 198
Posted: Apr 27 2016
Challenge ID: 9933854
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Boehringer Ingelheim (The Seeker) is interested in small organic molecules that are safe for human use, show no, or very mild, biological activity, display cell permeability, and achieve high concentrations (µM) in the plasma when chronically administered via the oral route. 

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


Small molecules with no or very low biological activity, safe for human use, display cell permeability and that can achieve high plasma concentrations when delivered orally, are very rare or have yet to be identified. 

The seeker is seeking for organic molecules that fit the description above, as well as additional properties described in the Detailed Description of this Challenge. 

This is a Challenge that targets:

  • The “usual suspect” Solvers: medicinal chemistry, physician, formulation science (galenics), pharmaceutics, pharmacology, etc, for the submission of small molecules that may be unknown to the Seeker, and
  •  “non-usual suspect” Solvers: animal health, agricultural science, food chemistry, nutrition science, cosmetics, and other fields where there is a wide range of potentially suitable molecules. 

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 as solely determined by the Seeker. 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. 
  • 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.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June,26, 2016 . Late submissions will not be considered.

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


The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates globally with 145 affiliates and a total of around 47,500 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. 

In 2015, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 14.8 billion euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 20.3 per cent of its net sales. 

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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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