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15 October 2014

GSK launches $5m fund

GlaxoSmithKline’s Innovation Challenge Fund targets the bioelectronics sector.

Author: Thierry Heles, reporter

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has launched a new $5m fund, dubbed Innovation Challenge Fund, targeting the bioelectronics sector.

Academics and spin-outs are set to profit from the fund, which GSK is hoping will advance research and development of small implantable devices as therapeutics, as opposed to the traditional pills and injections.

According to a statement, GSK is hoping the fund will lead to the creation of implants which can be programmed “to read and correct the electrical signals that pass along the nerves of the body, to treat disorders as diverse as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, asthma, hypertension and diabetes.”

The challenge originally began in 2013 with a $1m award, which the new fund is now built on and will expand. Uniquely, GSK is not angling for new technology to be acquired by the company but rather has made it a rule that all research funded by Innovation Challenge be freely available to the research community globally.

Moncef Slaoui, chairman of global research and development and vaccines at GSK, said: “We see the development of bioelectronic medicines as a collaborative process that will only be successful with the combined skills of world-leading engineers, physiologists, neuroscientists and informatics experts.”

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