Vaccinations are recommended for people of all ages as a means to prevent infectious diseases by helping the body’s defenses mount an immune response to known pathogens. Many vaccines are produced in chicken eggs with a manufacturing process that has been used for decades. Although high yields are reliably produced, this method is time consuming and expensive, requiring a large number of eggs. Therefore, the Seeker desires a novel approach for culturing viruses in immortalized cell substrates.
The Challenge has a special award structure. A solution proven to be viable for more than one virus will be eligible for multiple awards of $100,000 each.
This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, experimental proof-of-concept data, and sample delivery.
The seasonal influenza vaccine is the most recognizable of vaccines that are propagated in chicken eggs. It is developed more than 6 months in advance of the flu season to allow for enough time to scale up adequate quantities of the vaccine. Unfortunately this lag may be problematic if the selected strains do not match the ones predominantly in circulation during the winter. The investment in the number of chickens to generate the eggs required to produce large batches of vaccine is quite costly. Furthermore, vaccines that are produced in eggs are not suitable for people with egg allergies. Finding an alternative means for making vaccines without chickens is highly attractive not only from a health care perspective, but also in terms of animal welfare. Therefore, the Seeker desires a novel approach for culturing viruses in immortalized cell substrates.
A submission to the Challenge should include the following:
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 have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive intellectual property (IP) rights to the solution. However, the Seeker will be willing to consider a licensing agreement for a partial award if exclusive IP cannot be transferred by the Solver.
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on August 10, 2018.
Late submissions will not be considered.
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.