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BIO-X® Call for proposal 2013 New opportunities for existing drugs

Uppsala BIO, in collaboration with Roche, opens a new BIO-X® call for solutions with the aim of improving or finding new opportunities for existing drugs.

This call acknowledges the need for new innovative medicines with less side effects and improved efficacy. As an example, drug side effects are the cause of 10-20% of emergency hospitalization among elderly people in Sweden. BIO-X facilitates cross-functional interactions between academic reserachers and the pharmaceutical industry, offering shared project management and funding.

“Sweden has traditionally been in the forefront of pharmaceutical research and development, with former Pharmacia and AstraZeneca as big players”, says Erik Forsberg, CEO at Uppsala BIO. In a rapidly changing pharma environment, the opportunities for small-scale academic-industrial collaborative drug discovery research is growing.

With this new BIO-X call, Uppsala BIO invites researchers to submit proposals looking at new opportunities for existing drugs, i.e. mature drug molecules in late stage development or on the market (on/off patent). For many patient groups, available medicines lack efficacy or cause side effects. New types of formulations or improved delivery to target may be ways to improve efficacy. Repurposing (i.e. finding new indications to available medicines) is another way to find solutions for patient groups with unmet medical needs.

“In this call we are targeting drug discovery reasearch, but not necessarily within big Pharma” says Anna Ridderstad Wollberg, project manager for the call at Uppsala BIO.The pharmaceutical industry is increasing its external collaborations with academia and with small innovative companies to build a competitive pipeline of products and services. “Managing collaborations with external partners is rewarding but also demanding for all parties involved. BIO-X facilitates this interaction by connecting the industrial and healthcare collaborators to academic research teams, which will then receive financial support and implement a joint project plan”, Erik Forsberg continues.

Roche, a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, can be chosen as the industrial partner in this call. “We look forward to be part of this BIO-X call, to scrutinize proposals for new healthcare solutions and to support project teams choosing the option to collaborate with us when there is mutual interest”, says Maria Bobadilla, Senior Director Partnering-Extending Innovation Network (EIN)”

The BIO-X call is open to small and medium-size companies and to researchers in academia, healthcare and research institutes throughout Stockholm county and Eastern Central Sweden, i.e. counties of Uppsala, Södermanland, Västmanland, Örebro and Östergötland.

Projects selected for support from BIO-X are offered a custom-tailored program that provides them with access to individuals with extensive experience of product and business development in industry, expertise from healthcare, IP advice, contractual agreements etc, as well as funding of up to SEK 1 million per year for 18 – 24 months.

Since its inception, BIO-X has granted eighteen projects its full support, that is, both process support and funding. Five of six projects leaving BIO-X continue to be developed in companies.

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