InnoCentive, has announced the launch of a new Challenge offering, the Novel Molecule Challenge (NMC). Housed in InnoCentive's new Novel Molecule Pavilion, this offering brings open innovation to owners of molecule compound libraries - including academic institutions and custom molecule synthesis labs - by providing an easy and secure way for them to interact with corporations seeking new molecules for product research and development.
The Novel Molecule Challenge is a natural evolution of previous Challenges posted on InnoCentive's web site by Seeker organizations looking for novel compounds. In the past, Solvers viewed one molecular Challenge at a time, checked the request against their compound collection, and if a match was found, submitted their compound as a solution to the Challenge. Winning Solvers received a nominal payment, and Seekers received one new compound to add to their collection.
The new NMC represents a much simpler and more efficient process whereby:
• Solvers can upload their entire compound library for consideration against all future NMCs. InnoCentive will keep these structures in a secure database and notify Solvers if there is a Challenge that matches one of their structures. If so, they will have the option, but are in no way required, to submit their molecular structure(s) to that Challenge.
• Compounds are protected by InnoCentive's Secure Fingerprinting technology. For specially marked "Fingerprinting Challenges," the Seeker will not receive the chemical structure of the Solver's compounds unless they choose to purchase exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to those compounds. They will choose which compounds to acquire, for testing purposes only, based on InnoCentive's calculation or "fingerprint" of the relative similarity of the Solver's structure from others submitted, and on certain physico-chemical data (e.g. empirical formula such as C6H12O6, molecular weight, cLogP, polar surface area).
• Seekers and Solvers directly negotiate the rights to the IP. NMC Initial Transfer Awards are given in exchange for a non-exclusive license for the Seeker to use the Solver's compound(s) only for the Seeker's in-house tests. If the Seeker wishes to manufacture and sell the Solver's compound, the Solver and Seeker will negotiate the terms of the agreement directly, paving the way for a potentially lucrative business development opportunity.
When asked about the improvements, Alpheus Bingham, Founder of InnoCentive, said, "With this new offering, we have found a way to eliminate much of the overhead for Solvers and expand their chance for financial gain. We have also implemented measures to further protect Solver IP, while still offering their compounds to Seekers for testing."
"The Novel Molecule Challenge represents the first time InnoCentive has offered specialized Challenges and applications for particular industries. For many of our clients in the pharmaceutical, agricultural sciences, and flavors and fragrances industries, new molecules and compounds are vital for their businesses. This offering streamlines the process for them, shortening the search time and enabling them to only pay for compounds they know meet their criteria," said Dwayne Spradlin, President and CEO of InnoCentive. "It also allows us to engage with Solvers in a new secure way, helping them realize the value in compounds that may already be sitting on their lab shelves while protecting their intellectual property. For very little effort, there's a huge potential payoff."