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 purified tagged protein reagent (polyhistidine, FLAG, biotin, GST)?
We are looking to initiate the collaboration immediately after announcing winners of the Boston Challenge. Therefore, principal investigators must be able to provide their target as purified tagged protein reagent in at least a 1 mg quantity with suitable characterization of purity and function.
If you answered “yes” to the above questions, then the Discovery Fast Track Boston 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, you may want to review other opportunities for GSK Partnerships.
Workflow for Discovery Fast Track Boston Challenge
The submission process.
Applications will be accepted starting Monday, April 25, 2016 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time and must be submitted no later than Monday, May 20, 2016 6:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight 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 characterization of the tagged protein reagent and non-confidential technical information sufficient to evaluate suitability for affinity selection protocols.
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 they intend 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 must 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 review 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. Up to 30 finalists will be selected between our Boston challenges. Judges are GSK employees and GSK consultants bound by our confidentiality agreements who are physicians, scientists, researchers and other experts in the fields of biology, chemistry, medicine, pharmacology and other disciplines related to drug discovery and development.
Up to 15 finalists will be selected for in-depth discussions that will lead to identifying up to six winners. Confidentiality agreements will be put in place between GSK and the institutions prior to these in-depth discussions.
The primary criteria used to assess both initial applications and finalist proposals include:
- Strength of the therapeutic hypothesis
- Degree of novelty and originality of the work presented
- Potential impact or benefit of the target to medicine (unmet medical need)
- Tractability or feasibility of the target to be favourably modulated by a small molecule
- Assay readiness of the target
- Investigator’s and institution’s capabilities to support entry into the Discovery Fast Track Boston Challenge and for joint execution of a DPAc collaboration
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 share such technology and materials with 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, along with their institution, a Challenge Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement (CDA). Finalists 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) if the investigator is selected as a winner. 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 present their proposals at a face-to-face meeting with a panel of GSK drug discovery experts. All finalists will receive feedback about their concept from judging panel members. After all the proposals have been reviewed, the panel will select up to six 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 Encoded Library Technology (ELT) Screening Facility in Waltham, MA on Thursday, September 8 and Friday, September 9, 2016.
Winners will be notified by November 2016. Winner confirmation is conditional, however, upon execution of the Challenge MTA by the winner’s institution. Once winners are confirmed, a 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 the optimal chemical probes. An ELT Orientation Day will be held at the GSK ELT Screening Facility in Waltham, MA on Tuesday, November 15, 2016. Winners will be announced publicly in December 2016.
Once the affinity selection and compound evaluations are is complete, four research outcomes are possible.
To get started, create your Discovery Fast Track account.