GSK enhances features in Discovery Fast Track competition

New features incorporated in Discovery Fast Track competition designed to improve collaboration with universities and encourage technology innovation

13 June 2013

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announced new features to improve Discovery Fast Track, a competition designed to accelerate the translation of academic research into novel therapies, launched last month. The enhancements are intended to improve ease of submitting proposals and to better support university Technology Transfer Office (TTO) personnel during the competition.

Commenting on the program from CalBio 2013, Pearl Huang, Ph.D., Global Head of GSK’s Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc), said: “The Discovery Fast Track competition was created with the purpose of forging a closer bond between academia – both researchers and technology transfer officers – and industry so that we might create new and important medicines together. GSK has carefully considered the academic community in originally creating the Discovery Fast Track competition and we’ve also sought to address recent concerns voiced publicly by some university TTOs by following through with these additional improvements.”

A critical aspect of Discovery Fast Track is respect for the intellectual property rights of universities, investigators and GSK. With this mission in mind, GSK has:

  • Introduced a new diligence step within the competition whereby, upon submission, a university’s TTO staff member(s) are required to provide approval via email for each application in order to allow GSK judges to start their review;
  • Empowered TTO staff members to create an account in the Discovery Fast Track competition portal, enabling them to go into the portal to view applications from their institution;
  • Created a support page to provide university TTO personnel instant access to competition information and created a dedicated support email for university TTO personnel to address any questions or issues, and;
  • Made a commitment to update language in the MTA to clarify that all agreements that are entered into are between the university and GSK.

Discovery Fast Track has been well received. Since the opening of the competition on May 20, nearly 5,000 people have visited the competition site and nearly 300 academic researchers have opted in to learn more about the competition. Numerous universities have submitted applications with their TTOs expressing support for the competition.

Up to 10 winning academic investigators will share a novel drug development concept and GSK will configure a high-throughput assay to screen the target against its extensive compound library. Together, GSK and the investigator will interpret and triage the output to identify chemical probes that researchers can use to test their hypotheses in more advanced biological assays. If successful, this could potentially lead to a DPAc partnership to further progress drug development potential. Academic investigators will be encouraged to publish their research. Registration closes on July 19, and winners will be selected in October 2013. Further details can be found online at

GSK – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect GSK's operations are described under Item 3.D 'Risk factors' in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2012.