AstraZeneca Challenge: Molecular Strategies to Minimize Off-Target Toxicities of Antibody Drug Conjugates

$15,000 USD

Challenge overview

An antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) is comprised of an antibody connected to a cytotoxic agent with a linker. ADCs are designed to selectively target tumors via binding to specific markers found on the cell surface. Although many ADCs are in clinical development, only a few are FDA approved. To improve the efficacy of ADCs in the treatment of cancer, the Seeker is looking for innovative molecular strategies to minimizing off-target toxicities of ADCs.

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.

The therapeutic activity of ADCs depends on recognition of the cell surface target antigen, internalization of the ADC upon target binding, and release of the cytotoxic agent within the cell. Off-target binding of the ADCs results in limited efficacy and unwanted toxicities. The Seeker calls for new molecular (i.e. antibody engineering) and chemical (e.g. linker design, tumor restricted release mechanisms, pro-drug approaches) strategies for creating ADCs that are solely active at the tumor site or at the tumor microenvironment thus minimizing off-target toxicities.

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award. The award(s) will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $15,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $2,000.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker. Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on September 30, 2019. 

Late submissions will not be considered.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.



AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of disease 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.

Use the slider to explore how the Challenge process works:


Review & Accept



To start solving this Challenge, log in to the Challenge Center or register as a Solver

Visit the Wazoku Crowd Community to start the conversation