GSK solicits proposals for early-stage drug research

GlaxoSmithKline invited academic scientists on Tuesday to enter their most innovative drug research proposals into the company's 2014 Discovery Fast Track Challenge.

The challenge is a program meant to accelerate the translation of early-stage research into game-changing new drugs. This is the second year GSK is holding the challenge, which previously ran in the U.S. and the U.K. GSK is expanding this year's challenge to include Europe.

Participating scientists are asked to submit details about the biological pathways or targets they are researching and a scientific rationale detailing how the research could direct future drug development. The winning scientists will collaborate with GSK's Discovery Partnerships with Academia team to test their hypotheses on possible disease targets or pathways against GSK's library of compounds.

If a compound identified during the process shows activity against the targets or pathways and could serve as a starting point for drug development, the scientists could be offered a formal partnership with DPAc and a chance to work together on developing the new drug.

"Through this challenge we're paving the way for innovative new collaborations between academic scientists and investigators in GSK's DPAc team," Pearl Huang, the global head of DPAc, said. "This means successful entrants will be given access to GSK's unique, highly diverse compound collections and our expertise in drug discovery."

Last year's challenge received close to 150 entries and resulted in a new approach to the design of antibiotics.

Registration closes on April 23 in Europe and May 16 in North America.