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Challenges Seek Solutions for Chronic Diseases, Oral Drugs in Animals

Puppy at veterinarian

(12019, Pixabay)

27 July 2018. Two new crowdsourcing competitions announced this week are seeking ideas on broadening the scope of drugs being developed for companion animals, and making drugs easier to give to pets and farm animals. The challenges offer total prize packages of $15,000 to $20,000, with submission deadlines in late August and mid-September, 2018.

The challenges are conducted by InnoCentive in Waltham, Massachusetts that conducts open-innovation, crowdsourcing competitions for corporate and organization sponsors, which in both of these cases are anonymous. Free registration is required to see full details of the competitions.

One of the challenges is seeking to broaden the scope of medications for companion pets to cover more chronic diseases. Most drugs developed for pets today, says the sponsor, are to treat infections from parasites and viruses, while chronic diseases that remain a problem for companion animals are given less attention. Among drugs developed for humans, however, more attention is given to chronic disease. The sponsor asks challenge participants to propose techniques for extending the knowledge of human health targets to companion animals, to speed new treatments to market and help make them less expensive.

The challenge has a total prize purse of $15,000, with at least one prize awarded of no less than $5,000. InnoCentive calls this type of competition an ideation challenge, which requires a brief (2-page) proposal. Ideation proposals can contain ideas originating from the participants, the public domain where no restrictions are applied, or third-parties where participants have the rights to propose solutions with those ideas. Participants are asked not to submit confidential information in their proposals. The deadline for proposals is 26 August 2018.

A second competition is seeking new methods for giving systemic drugs to livestock and companion animals, as a replacement for injections, which often require trained personnel to administer and are unpleasant for both the animals and their owners. The sponsor is asking for ideas for better ways to give pets and livestock biological treatments, preferably oral medications, that stimulate the immune system to protect against disease or act as therapeutics against existing disorders.

This challenge has a total purse of $20,000, with division of the prize money made by the sponsor after review of the proposals. InnoCentive calls this type of competition a theoretical-licensing challenge that requires submission of a written proposal. In a theoretical challenge, participants generally describe an idea still in development and not yet reached the proof-of-concept stage. Proposals often contain detailed descriptions, specifications, and requirements for bringing the idea closer to fruition as an actual product or service. The sponsor expects to ask for non-exclusive rights to the ideas proposed by the entries, with proposals due by 17 September 2018.

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