AstraZeneca Challenge: Improving the Targeting and Transduction Efficiency of Adeno-Associated Viral Vectors

$25,000 USD

Challenge overview

Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a non-enveloped virus that infects humans with no known pathogenicity. With the ability to infect both dividing and non-dividing cells, AAVs are being studied as promising vehicles for targeted gene therapy. Therefore, AstraZeneca desires innovative approaches to improve not only the targeting, but also the transduction efficiency of AAV vectors.

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.

As AAVs garner more attention as a platform for gene therapy, the number of translational studies in which AAV vectors have been used for in vivo gene transfer has steadily increased and more clinical trial data have been generated. While AAV vectors maintain a good safety profile, they could benefit from optimization in terms of transduction efficiency and tissue-specific targeting, thereby increasing the therapeutic window and reducing off-target side effects. To support AstraZeneca’s research in our core therapeutic areas, we are seeking innovative strategies to enhance the targeted delivery of AAV vectors to particular tissues or organs such as heart, kidney, and lung cells with much improved transduction efficiency.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon Seeker’s theoretical evaluation of the quality of the data analysis as detailed in the submission.

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on October 15, 2019. 

Late submissions will not be considered.


AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three main therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases and Respiratory.  AstraZeneca also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. As an innovation-driven research organization, AstraZeneca recognizes that great ideas come from many sources. Open innovation is an avenue by which ideas can be shared and AstraZeneca recently launched a pavilion to further its commitment to facilitate the advancement of pharmaceutical research.

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