MedCity News eNewsletter

GSK announces 14 winners of Discovery Fast Track Challenge

That next blockbuster drug? It all begins with a hypothesis: GlaxoSmithKline just announced the winners of its second Discovery Fast Track Challenge – a competition that teams up American and European academia with GSK researchers to speed up their search for new therapeutics. GSK picked the 14 best hypotheses from a total 428 proposals to help […]

That next blockbuster drug? It all begins with a hypothesis: GlaxoSmithKline just announced the winners of its second Discovery Fast Track Challenge – a competition that teams up American and European academia with GSK researchers to speed up their search for new therapeutics.

GSK picked the 14 best hypotheses from a total 428 proposals to help usher from the brain to the bench, so that ultimately new medications could make it to the bedside. The payoff for academics? They will be able to work with GSK’s huge compound library to test their hypotheses. The payoff for GSK? Early stage IP for the picking, since the winning academics could be offered a formal collaboration agreement with GSK.

In these patent cliff-ful times, it takes a little innovation to spark new research among behemoth pharma companies. Partnering directly with academia is one of the most prudent choices a drugmaker can make these days. Here are the winners:

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United States/Canada

  • Dr. John Burnett Jr, Mayo Clinic, and Dr. Siobhan Malany, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute: Discovery of anti-hypertensive agents
  • Prof. Maureen Murphy, The Wistar Institute, Prof. Donna George and Prof. Julia Leu, The Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania: Cancer therapy
  • Prof. Stefan Strack, University of Iowa: Targeting mitochondrial fragmentation for neuroprotection
  • Prof. Vanessa Sperandio, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center:  Targeting bacterial infections
  • Prof. Tania Watts, University of Toronto: Treatment of B-cell lymphomas

Europe

  • Prof. Morris Brown, University of Cambridge (UK): Primary hyperaldosteronism
  • Dr. Federica Briani, Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy): Targeting bacterial infections
  • Dr. Christos Chatziantoniou, National Institute of Health and Medical Research (France): Chronic kidney disease
  • Prof. Giulio Superti-Furga and Dr. Kilian Huber, CeMM (Austria): Cancer therapy
  • Prof. Steve Jackson and Dr. Delphine Larrieu, University of Cambridge (UK): Treatment of inherited laminopathies
  • Prof. Andrew Lever, University of Cambridge (UK): Targeting HIV infection
  • Prof. Michael Marber, King’s College London (UK): Ischaemic heart disease
  • Dr. Geerten van Nieuw Amerongen, VU University Medical Center (The Netherlands): Treatment of vascular leakage and edema
  • Dr. Simon Wagner, University of Leicester (UK): Cancer therapy