How Discovery Fast Track works
Questions to ask before you enter:
Do you have a clear therapeutic hypothesis?
We are looking for a coherent and supportable hypothesis to develop a medicine that would provide therapeutic benefit to particular groups of patients.
Do you have a defined target?
You should have identified a specific protein drug target linked to a disease and be able to propose why modulating this target with a small molecule could provide an effective and safe therapy.
Do you have enabling expertise?
The 2018 Discovery Fast Track Australian Challenge is a collaboration. You should have generated data which provides proof of concept for your proposal and, ideally, already have developed key reagents and assays.
If you answered “yes” to the above questions, then the 2018 Discovery Fast Track Australian Challenge is a great opportunity for you. If you wish to propose a biological as a therapeutic, you may want to reach out to GSK’s Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) team. If you wish to propose a vaccine, technology or delivery system, see these other opportunities at GSK Partnerships. For proposals centred on tropical diseases, explore our partnerships for neglected tropical diseases.
Workflow for 2018 Discovery Fast Track Australian Challenge
The submission process.
Applications will be accepted starting Monday, 19 March 2018 at 09:00 Australian Eastern Time and must be submitted no later than Friday, 27 April 2018 at 23.59 Australian Eastern time.
The application should consist of a non-confidential, one-page summary that includes the therapeutic hypothesis, a brief description of the target and the level of completeness of the development of the target/screening assay.
Applicants will be asked to agree to a waiver stating that no information supplied in the application is confidential and that s/he is entitled to make the disclosure to GSK.
All investigators who apply to the Challenge will be required to acknowledge that they have notified their Technology Transfer Office (TTO) that s/he intends to enter the Challenge. Specifically, investigators will be required to provide within the application itself the email address for one of their institution’s TTO staff members. Once an application is submitted, an institution TTO staff member is required to provide approval via email for that application before our GSK judges will start their review. Until we receive this email confirmation from an institution’s TTO, our GSK judges will be unable to view the investigator's application. If your institution does not have a Technology Transfer Office or is not associated with one, please contact the administrators of the Challenge at DiscoveryFastTrack@gsk.com.
All applications will be reviewed by an expert panel of judges and rated based on pre-defined criteria in order to determine the finalists. Judges are GSK employees and consultants bound by our confidentiality agreements; we are physicians, scientists, researchers and other experts in the fields of biology, chemistry, medicine, pharmacology and other disciplines related to drug discovery and development.
- Strength of the therapeutic hypothesis
- Degree of novelty and originality of the work presented
- Potential transformational impact or benefit of the target to medicine (unmet medical need)
- Tractability or feasibility of the target to be modulated by a small molecule
- Assay readiness of the target
- Investigator’s and institution’s capabilities to support entry into the 2018 Discovery Fast Track Australian Challenge.
Finalists will be required to submit an expanded description of the target and screen (5 pages maximum) with a key emphasis on therapeutic hypothesis, which may include confidential data. Appropriate confidentiality agreements will be put into place prior to exchanging any confidential information or data.
Finalists and their institutions will also be asked to provide:
- A statement about whether the technology and materials are subject to contractual obligations and confirmation that the institution has the right to transfer such technology and materials to GSK.
- Specific information required to complete due diligence in order to ensure that the research and associated technology of the assay is unencumbered by any institutional or external obligations and that the proposed work is potentially amenable to high throughput screening.
- A presentation outlining the proposal that they will present at a "face-to-face" meeting with the judging panel.
Each finalist will be assigned a GSK mentor to guide preparation for the final stage of the Challenge (including completion of key due diligence activities) and s/he will also be requested to sign, with their institution, a Challenge Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement (CDA). If selected as a winner, s/he will also be asked to initiate discussions with their Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at their institution to confirm the ability to execute the Challenge Materials Transfer Agreement (MTA). This is a critical step because our offer to screen targets/pathways is conditional upon execution of the Challenge MTA by the winner’s institution.
All finalists will work with a GSK mentor to prepare them for the face to face meeting. This will involve helping our finalists to understand what the judges will be looking for as well as the types of information needed for due diligence discussions. Due diligence discussions will happen prior to the face to face meeting by VTC; the "face-to-face" meeting will be in front of a panel of judges who are GSK drug discovery experts. Finalists will receive feedback about their concept from judging panel members. After all the proposals have been reviewed, the panel will select a small number of winners. The panel’s decision is final, and GSK is unable to enter into correspondence regarding the decisions.
These meetings will be held at the GSK Abbotsford site, Melbourne, Australia week of 13th August 2018. Travel and accommodation will be provided for finalists.
Winners will be notified shortly after the "face-to-face" meeting in August 2018. A project team will be formed for each winning project consisting of the winning investigator and relevant GSK experts. The team will then work together to design the screening cascade to identify compounds. However, winner confirmation is conditional upon execution of the Challenge MTA by the winner’s institution. Funding of up to $75,000AUD will be made available to help the support the academic collaborators contribution to the program. Winners will be publicly announced in late 2018.
Once the screen is complete and hit confirmation/qualification has been conducted including testing blinded compounds in relevant assays in the academic’s lab, [LINK] four research conclusions are possible.
To get started, create your Discovery Fast Track account.