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 with a small molecule could provide an effective and safe therapy.
Do you have enabling expertise?
The 2016 Discovery Fast Track UK Golden Triangle 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 2016 Discovery Fast Track UK Golden Triangle 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 2016 Discovery Fast Track UK Golden Triangle Challenge
The submission process.
Applications will be accepted starting Monday, 5 September 2016 at 9:00 a.m. British Local Time and must be submitted no later than Friday, 28 October 2016 at 6:59 p.m. British Local Time.
The application should consist of a non-confidential, one-page summary that includes the therapeutic hypothesis, a brief description of the target, 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. Up to 7 finalists will be selected. 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.
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 2016 Discovery Fast Track UK Golden Triangle 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, 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) and the Challenge Visiting Scientist Agreement (if the investigator will be working at the GSK Medicines Research Centre at Stevenage). 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, and our opportunity for the winner to work at the GSK Medicines Research Centre at Stevenage is conditional upon execution of the Challenge Visiting Scientist Agreement 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. They will receive feedback about their concept from judging panel members. After all the proposals have been reviewed, the panel will select up to 3 winners. The panel’s decision is final, and GSK is unable to enter into correspondence regarding the decisions.
These meetings will be held at GSK Medicines Research Centre at Stevenage on 7 and 8 February 2017.
Winners will be notified shortly after the face-to-face meeting in February 2017. Winner confirmation is conditional, however, upon execution of the Challenge MTA and the Challenge Visiting Scientist Agreement by the winner’s institution. Once winners are confirmed, 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 the optimal chemical tools. Part of the Challenge provision will be made for the winner or a member of their staff to work at GSK on their target, in accordance with the Challenge Visiting Scientist Agreement. As part of the programme planning, together the teams will decide where a visiting scientist will receive the most value while working at GSK. This exchange will be to both benefit the programme team and provide a learning experience on the drug discovery process. Winners will be publicly announced in May 2017.
Once the screen is complete, four research outcomes are possible.
To get started, create your Discovery Fast Track account.