Huntington’s and ALS Nonprofits Partner with Teva to Discover New Therapeutic Targets

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Teva challenge

Three organizations fighting neurodegenerative diseases have teamed up to challenge researchers around the world to come up with new treatment approaches for central nervous system (CNS) disorders.

The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), the ALS Association, and Teva Pharmaceuticals have launched the crowdsourcing effort, called the Teva CNS Target Identification Challenge.

The challenge calls for researchers worldwide to submit proposals aimed at discovering new therapeutic targets. Teva will grant awards ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 to high-caliber proposals for new disease-modifying targets, and will potentially pursue partnerships with researchers to further investigate these targets and discover new therapies.

In addition to Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson’s disease, the initiative also covers migraines, headache disorders, and chronic pain.

“The identification of novel, well-validated targets, other than the causative gene huntingtin, to confidently launch a Huntington’s disease drug discovery program, remains a critical gap in our research community,” George Yohrling, PhD, senior director of mission and scientific affairs at HDSA, said in a press release. “HDSA is excited to join forces with Teva on the CNS Target Identification Challenge to enable scientists to better bridge that gap.”

The Teva CNS Target Identification Challenge was developed in collaboration with InnoCentive, a global expert in crowdsourcing.

Successful proposals should focus on novel intracellular or extracellular targets that can be modulated by small molecules or biologics to improve the conditions of those living with these disorders.

“The identification and validation of new molecular targets that contribute to disease processes is an essential step toward developing new treatment to help patients,” said Steffen Nock, PhD, senior vice president of research and development at Teva. “We are enthusiastic about the Teva CNS Target Identification Challenge as an opportunity to identify therapeutically relevant targets in strategic areas of interest to Teva, as well as to identify researchers with diverse scientific backgrounds and unique expertise related to the target of interest as potential collaboration partners.”

HDSA will cosponsor Huntington’s-related challenge awards. Submissions will be accepted until April 29, 2018.