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Challenge Strategies for Creating Attenuated Vaccines

Strategies for Creating Attenuated Vaccines

STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 153
Posted: Jul 31 2017
Challenge ID: 9933919
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Vaccinations are used successfully for disease prevention, not only in those who are immunized, but also for future generations who benefit from the eradication of life threatening diseases such as smallpox. Some vaccines are composed of inactivated microbes or subunits of a pathogen, whereas others are attenuated, containing weakened forms that remain capable of triggering cellular and humoral immune responses. Some drawbacks of attenuated vaccines include the possibility of reversion to a more virulent form and/or continued shedding. Therefore, the Seeker desires improved methods for the creation of attenuated vaccines that are safe and effective. 

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.


Live, attenuated vaccines contain less virulent versions of a microbe and are effective at eliciting a protective immune response in the vaccinated host. There are many more attenuated vaccines created against viruses (e.g. chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella) than bacteria (e.g. tuberculosis, typhoid) because viral genomes are less complicated and thus, are easier to control in terms of replication efficiency. Recombinant DNA technology is one method for producing vaccines that relies heavily on the antigenicity of a few epitopes and furthermore, direct delivery of DNA into host cells may have long term, unwanted side effects. Exposure to attenuated vaccines, on the other hand, allows the host innate immune system to identify and present multiple pathogenic epitopes to the adaptive immune system and generate stronger protective immune memory. To capitalize on this advantage, the Seeker desires improved methods for the creation of attenuated bacterial vaccines that are both safe and effective. 

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, 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 October 1, 2017. 

Late submissions will not be considered.

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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.

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