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Challenge Seeks Gastrointestinal Toxicity Test Methods

Chemotherapy vials

(National Cancer Institute)

30 October 2016. A challenge competition on InnoCentive is looking for new lab tests for toxic effects of drugs on the gastrointestinal tract. The competition sponsored by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has a total prize purse of $25,000 and an initial deadline of 24 October 2016.

The challenge is conducted by InnoCentive in Waltham, Massachusetts that conducts open-innovation, crowdsourcing competitions for corporate and organization sponsors, in this case AstraZeneca. Free registration is required to see full details of the competition.

AstraZeneca is seeking an in vitro lab model offering better ways of assessing the potential effects of drugs, such as those used in chemotherapy, on the gastrointestinal tract. Individuals suffering from gastrointestinal toxicity experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, ulceration, and diarrhea. In some cases, the impact is so severe, patients may need to change their dosing regimen, reducing the effectiveness of their treatments.

The submitted models should also test for these effects from causes other than drugs, including inhibition of cell proliferation, or adverse pharmacological effect on receptors and enzymes. The company expects solutions offered by participants to include gastrointestinal toxicity onset and recovery.

InnoCentive calls this type of competition a reduction-to-practice challenge, showing an actual idea in practice, although on a reduced scale. Participants should be prepared to submit physical evidence showing their solutions can work, as well as detailed descriptions. For this challenge, participants will need to submit experimental proof-of-concept data no later than 24 October 2016. Full submissions with written documentation, experimental proof-of-concept data, and validation results are due by 21 February 2017.

AstraZeneca expects to review submissions as they are received and will determine which solutions merit experimental validation. Participants will be contacted to discuss their study designs and sign any required documents prior to receiving a shipment of proprietary compounds for testing. Award winners will not be required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the sponsor, but will be asked to grant a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.

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