Hypothesis for Causality

$20,000 USD

Challenge overview


An approved medicine has been associated with post-marketing adverse event case reports following administration of the drug in the eye. Novartis is seeking plausible hypotheses for these observations based upon publicly available information.



Novartis is launching this Ideation Challenge for a recently introduced drug in the market that is linked with post-marketing adverse event case reports following administration of the drug in the human eye. A small number of patients experienced adverse events termed as “retinal vasculitis” and/or “retinal vascular occlusion” that may result in severe vision loss and/or decreased visual acuity. Typically, these events occurred in the presence of intraocular inflammation (IOI). This is a brainstorming activity to help examine the potential root cause of these reported post-marketing adverse events with a particular interest in identifying parallels from life or physical sciences to provide relevant and plausible insights as to why these rare reported post-marketing adverse events have occurred. For more information on the ongoing efforts of Novartis, please visit https://www.novartis.com/news/media-releases/us-fda-approves-updated-novartis-beovu-label-include-additional-safety-information.

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 $20,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $10,000 and no award being smaller than $2,500, subject to your acceptance of the terms & conditions set forth in the Challenge Specific Agreement.
  • 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. The Solver further agrees to give the Seeker an exclusive option to obtain an exclusive license in respect of all intellectual property rights in this proposal. The period of time for Seeker to exercise the option shall be for 90 days subsequent to the payment of the guaranteed award. The Seeker shall have the right to exercise the exclusive option at the sole discretion of Seeker. Upon exercising the exclusive option, the Seeker shall pay the Solver a one-time payment. For the avoidance of doubt, this one-time payment is in addition to the aforementioned guaranteed award. If Seeker exercises its option, the Solver commits to execute documents sufficient to perfect ownership of all intellectual property rights in the proposal at no additional costs to Seeker. Seeker shall pay any incidental costs associated with perfecting such ownership.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on September 20, 2020. 

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 evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.



Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at https://www.novartis.com.


What is InnoCentive?

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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