Please note that the details of this Challenge are no longer open. This challenge is awarded and is no longer accepting new submissions. You can:
Challenge Liver Abscess Formation in Cattle
Liver Abscess Formation in Cattle
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 83
Posted: Nov 17 2016
Challenge ID: 9933889
Team Project Rooms are available on this Challenge. Team Share Challenge Share

Liver abscesses are lesions that can develop in all cattle, regardless of age, gender, or breed. Since affected cattle seldom exhibit clinical signs, abscesses are only detected at harvest, where they contribute significantly to loss in carcass value. Although many factors impact the incidence of abscess development, the primary etiological agent is thought to be a bacterial infection. Therefore, cattle are fed tylosin, a broad spectrum, shared-class antibiotic. In an effort to develop antibiotic alternatives, Elanco desires an animal model that recapitulates liver abscess formation in ruminants.

A webinar presented by Elanco and InnoCentive concerning Elanco’s Grand Challenge Program was held on October 20, 2016. A recording of the session can be accessed here.

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.


Abscesses result from the entry, growth, and establishment of bacteria in the liver. Commensal organisms in the gastrointestinal tract can reach the liver from the rumen following damage to the epithelium. Ruminal acidosis is a condition associated with a marked decrease in pH, which leads to malabsorption of nutrients, a shift in the gut microbiome, and the development of liver abscesses. Direct injection of bacteria into the hepatic portal vein results in liver abscesses, but liver abscess formation has not been observed when severe ruminal acidosis is experimentally induced in cattle. In order to better prevent and treat liver abscesses, Elanco is interested in understanding the biology of abscess formation and therefore desires an animal model that recapitulates this process in ruminants.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.

To receive an award, Solvers will not be required to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions as further described in the Terms of Use. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on January 1, 2017. 

Late submissions will not be considered.


Elanco provides comprehensive products and knowledge services to improve animal health and food-animal production in more than 70 countries around the world. We value innovation, both in scientific research and daily operations, and strive to cultivate a collaborative work environment for nearly 7,000 employees worldwide. Together with our customers, we are committed to raising awareness about global food security, and celebrating and supporting the human-animal bond. Elanco has committed to an 8-step Antibiotic Stewardship Plan that ensures the responsible use of antibiotics, reduces shared-class antibiotic use, and replaces antibiotics with alternatives. Founded in 1954, Elanco is a division of Eli Lilly and Company. Our worldwide headquarters and research facilities are located in Greenfield, Indiana. Visit us at and

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 a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge?

An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge, meaning that the Seeker is requesting non-exclusive rights to use the winning solution. By contrast, Theoretical-IP Transfer means that Solvers must relinquish all rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) for which they are awarded. For these forms of a Theoretical Challenge, Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.

Share This Challenge