Oligonucleotide therapy is an emerging treatment option for various diseases. Binding of these short chain sequences to complimentary RNA can result in the decrease of certain gene products leading to a therapeutic effect. With specific targeting, the activity of these oligonucleotides could be improved by having a direct effect on tumor cells and other cell types associated with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
AstraZeneca is searching for a novel, platform technology to facilitate the selective delivery of short chain oligonucleotides. AstraZeneca intends to make up to 10 awards from a total award pool of up to $100,000 – awarded solutions will be advanced to produce proof of concept data in a subsequent Reduction to Practice challenge with milestone awards of up to $20,000 and a final award of up to $100,000. This second Challenge may be public or by invitation only.
Pharmaceutical R&D faces a number of significant challenges including budget limitations, lengthy development times and a high rate of attrition in drug discovery and development. These challenges restrict companies from pursuing many indications for clinical drug candidates, and potentially mean that important discoveries are not made.
To address these limitations, AstraZeneca is seeking novel clinical indications for a select set of compounds previously in clinical development. These “patient-ready” compounds, with evidence of human target coverage and manageable tolerability, are available for novel clinical indications- preferably in diseases with significant unmet medical need. These compounds provide valuable opportunities to explore disease biology, advance medical science, and potentially discover a new therapy for patients.