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Challenge Effective Oral Delivery of High Molecular Weight Compounds

Effective Oral Delivery of High Molecular Weight Compounds

STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 218
Posted: Nov 20 2017
Challenge ID: 9933933
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PROTACs are an exciting new modality capable of potently degrading proteins with a small molecule, however, they are still larger than typical oral drugs. Oral delivery of small molecules is the most common and preferred route of administration for reasons that relate to patient convenience, adherence, and cost. Therapeutics that are highly soluble and of low molecular weight are easily absorbed in this manner, however, molecules with different characteristics often exhibit poor oral bioavailability. Therefore, the Seeker desires new methods for effective oral delivery of high molecular weight compounds such as PROTACs.

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.


PROTACs represent a novel small molecule therapeutic modality capable of degrading target proteins, rather than simply inhibiting their catalytic function. This opens up new opportunities in disease treatment with the benefits of targeting previously ‘undruggable’ targets with tunable selectivity and reduced toxicity. These PROTAC molecules, however, suffer from poor bioavailability due to a number of factors such as molecular weight, number of hydrogen bond donors and acceptors, and number of rotatable bonds, which are key elements in predicting oral bioavailability. There is a precipitous decrease in bioavailability when the molecular weight climbs higher than 500 to 700 daltons, thus, the Seeker desires new methods for effective oral delivery of high molecular weight compounds such as PROTACs.

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 January 19, 2018. 

Late submissions will not be considered.


AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three main therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases and Respiratory.  AstraZeneca also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. As an innovation-driven research organization, AstraZeneca recognizes that great ideas come from many sources. Open innovation is an avenue by which ideas can be shared and AstraZeneca recently launched a pavilion to further its commitment to facilitate the advancement of pharmaceutical research.

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.

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