Utilizing our global Solver community to test ‘proof of principle’

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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is a science-led global healthcare company headquartered in London, UK, with just under 100,000 employees across the world. A leader in the field of pharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing, the firm’s goal is to be one of the world’s most innovative, best performing and trusted healthcare companies.

For several years, GSK has been evaluating a potentially disruptive technology, known as bioelectronics, that could in the future become a whole new class of treatments, complementing traditional drugs. Before allocating resources to take this into mainstream medicine, GSK wanted to make sure they hadn’t missed any angles. So, they appealed to InnoCentive’s global Solver community to identify the best ‘proof of principle’ for these medicines.

The Challenge

  • GSK wanted to know which disease would constitute the best testbed for a new class of treatments – which diseases have been shown in research to have a large neural control element.
  • Just having access to one team makes it difficult for the search to be comprehensive, thus GSK looked to solvers to help them explore the state-of-the-art research, as a force multiplier to their existing team.

The Solutions

  • This Challenge engaged 397 solvers from around the world and generated 66 possible solutions.
  • The winning solution proposed an area for proofing that had not been flagged during their own preparatory research.
  • This area was identified by a Bulgarian solver citing a Mexican publication.
  • The high level of engagement in this challenge was achieved with a comparatively small award amount for this industry ($5,000).

The Results

  • This challenge helped GSK to understand who is out in this field of research, as well as build an ongoing collaboration between the research team and the winners.
  • InnoCentive’s approach complemented GSK’s other ways of identifying attractive research opportunities in the Bioelectronics R&D unit, ensuring a diversity of thinking right from the start of this endeavour.

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