Pharmaceutical and Drug Discovery

This list is provided in alphabetical order by sponsor. Please scroll down for current opportunities.


AbbVie is pharmaceutical company with a focus and passion of an entrepreneur and innovator. The result is a global biopharmaceutical company that has the ability to discover and advance innovative therapies. AbbVie partnerships are dedicated to two important outcomes: delivering innovative new medicines and having an impact on peoples lives. They work to establish a mutually beneficial long-term, working relationship that allows both organizations to exceed goals and expectations.

Abbvie plans to come to UC San Diego in September 2015 to meet with faculty, and scientists interested in collaborating in their areas of research.

Abbvie is interested in developing scientific collaboration with academic centers such as UC San Diego. Their main areas of interest are outlined in detail in their partnering brochure.

  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Neuroscience
  • Renal diseases
  • Biologics
  • Technologies for the discovery, engineering and optimization of protein therapeutics
  • Innovative technologies for drug delivery and distribution
  • Next-generation protein therapeutics technologies

In the meantime if you are interested in collaborating with them, please submit a one or two page non-confidential proposal to Dr. Ettouati. Dr. Ettouati will forward your proposal to Abbvie on your behalf. See Abbvie Partnership brochure below.

Williams S. Ettouati, PharmD
Director, Industrial Relations & Development
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, N.S.
University of California San Diego
Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Cell: 858-699-5489858-699-5489


The Air Force has shared a substantial list of biomedical-related projects for potential funding (see the list below). If you would like more information, please contact Donna M. Shaw, Ph.D., CLP, Assistant Director, Life Science Licensing, UC San Diego Technology Transfer Office,; 858-534-6086858-534-6086.


Amgen areas of interest for potential research collaborations and licensing opportunities:

  • Therapeutic Discovery: Platform technologies, expression systems, assays, reagents
  • Therapeutic Areas: Oncology, Metabolic, Neuroscience, Inflammation
  • Strategic Innovation Units: Genome Analysis unit, Therapeutic Innovation Unit
  • Medical Sciences: Companion diagnostics, biomarker assay development, validated immunoassays and cell-based technologies
  • P&PD: Formulation technologies
  • Drug Delivery/devices

Due: September 15, 2013

How to Submit:
If you are interested in forging true scientific collaborations with their scientists, please submit your short 1-2 page non-confidential proposal to Dr. Ettouati will forward the proposal to Amgen on your behalf. It is also possible to submit directly through Amgen's website (but this is not preferred):

Questions, please contact:
William S. Ettouati, PharmD
Director, Industrial Relations & Development
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, NS
wettouati@ucsd.eduor 858-699-5489858-699-5489

Bayer HealthCare

Bayer HealthCare dedicates grants for the validation of promising targets and offers to bring in expertise, tools and technologies to help develop your ideas. Bayer's Grant4Targets program aims to create relationships with academia by conducting quarterly reviews where researchers may submit grant proposals for drug target research in the following areas: Support Grants and Focus Grants. The size of the individual grant will depend on the target specifics and the phase of validation, but is limited to a maximum of €125,000 (approximately $168,000). In addition to financial support, Bayer scientists may forge collaborations and provide in kind support in drug discovery and development.

Please note that submissions will only be accepted through Bayer's submission platform on the website. For more information please visit: Bayer Grants 4Targets. The annual submission deadlines are March 31, 2015 and August 31, 2015

Bayer HealthCare allocates grants for the exploration of attractive, novel drug target and biomarkers in the fields of:

Oncology - Focus on anti-proliferative, survival signaling, transcription and chromatin modulation, cell cycle regulation, tumor metabolism, hypoxia, immunotherapy and antibody-drug conjugates.
Gynecology - Focus on novel treatment options for endometriosis (incl. adenomyosis uteri/endometriosis interna) and uterine fibroids (uterine leiomyoma).
Cardiology - Focus on novel approaches to the care of chronic and/or acute pulmonary hypertension & adjacent lung indications, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, acute coronary syndrome, ischemic stroke, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, acute lung injury/adult respiratory distress syndrome, cardiorenal syndrome and chronic kidney diseases.
Hematology - Focus on novel, innovative targets for hemophilia, hemoglobinopathies, bone marrow cell mobilization and renewal
Ophthalmology - Treatment options for dry AMD/Geographic Atrophy and Stargardt’s disease

We intend to offer the following different types of grants, depending on the specifics of the target and its development phase.

Support Grants (€5,000-€10,000) to further advance research on targets that are at a very early stage of discovery; fixed grant approval letter; IP rights remain with the applicant.

Focus Grants (€10,000-€125,000) for more mature ideas, e.g. to address specific aspects of a target as a first step towards transferring it to the drug discovery process; fixed grant approval letter; IP rights remain with the applicant.

Bayer HealthCare's definition of a drug target: We define a "druggable" target as a nucleic acid or a protein (e.g. an enzyme, a receptor) whose activity can be modified by a drug. The drug can be a small-molecular-weight chemical compound or a biological, such as an antibody or a recombinant protein. The target should have been shown to be effective/mechanistically involved in the disease by relevant in vitro or in vivo models.

The current call for proposals is limited to the above indications, treatment paradigms and approaches (small-molecular-weight compounds, antibodies, recombinant proteins). In this call we will not fund proposals with approaches outside the above-mentioned areas, e.g. in gene or cell therapy, vaccination or unspecific approaches without defined molecular targets.
See also attached the publication in Drug Discovery Today: Gashaw et al. 2011
For additional information please see the site

UC San Diego contacts for questions and information:
William S. Ettouati, PharmD
Director, Industrial Relations & Development
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, NS or 858-699-5489858-699-5489

Bristo-Myers Squibb (BMS)

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) senior management in research are planning to come to UCSD on Friday, February, 22 2013. BMS is interested in receiving one or two page non-confidential proposal.

Bristol-Myers Squibb areas of interest for research collaborations are concentrated in six core areas:

  1. Immunology and Immunoscience
    • Immuno-oncology
    • Fibrosis
  2. Metabolic Diseases & Cardiovascular
    • Atherosclerosis
    • Heart Failure as it relates to fibrosis
    • Thrombosis
    • Type 2 Diabetes
  3. Neuroscience: Neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer & Parkinson
    • Neuropsychiatric disorders
      • Schizophrenia
      • Treatment resistant depression
      • Neuropathic pain
  4. Oncology: Targeted medicine, Cancer Stem Cell targets
  5. Virology: Hepatitis C and HIV
  6. Technology: Drug delivery

If you would like additional information please contact:

Williams S. Ettouati, PharmD
Director, Industrial Relations & Development Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, N.S.
University of California San Diego
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Cell: 858-699-5489858-699-5489 |

Please visit the Bristol-Myers Squibb website for additional information

Daiichi Sankyo

At Daiichi Sankyo, the pursuit of new medicines is fueled by the relentless scientific curiosity employees, a willingness to examine new ideas and the pairing of existing information with novel concepts. Daiichi Sankyo innovates by creating new medicines, as well as new methods of drug discovery and delivery. Daiichi Sankyo is constantly developing, deepening and broadening their pipeline to address unmet medical needs.

Innovation and partnering are integral to the mission that drives Daiichi Sankyo today. Recognizing the value of scientific advances that are made outside of Daiichi Sankyo, they actively seek partnerships designed as effective and mutually beneficial alliances.

Daiichi Sankyo’s extensive experience in the development and commercialization of novel therapeutic agents provides the benefits of a fully integrated pharmaceutical company along with a collaborative mindset, entrepreneurial spirit and flexibility.

To fulfill their mission of contributing to the enrichment of quality of life worldwide through the creation and provision of innovative pharmaceuticals addressing perse medical needs, they continue seeking partners that match their values, work ethic and commitment to patients.

Focus areas for collaboration and in-licensing are:

1. Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders

  • Type 2 diabetes and related end organ damage (e.g., nephropathy)
  • Insulin-resistance and beta-cell function
  • Vascular diseases including peripheral vascular disease and stroke
  • Cardiac and kidney dysfunction

2. Oncology

  • Pathways implicated in oncogene addiction or therapeutic resistance
  • Novel epigenetic or cancer stem cell targets
  • Agents synergizing with our existing oncology pipeline

3. Novel mechanisms of action (MOAs) that address significant unmet needs

If you have an innovative idea that you would like Daiichi Sankyo to consider for funding and/or collaboration, you can submit a non-confidential two page proposal directly to:

Williams S. Ettouati, PharmD
Director, Industrial Relations & Development
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, N.S.
University of California San Diego
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Cell: 858-699-5489858-699-5489 /

Please visit the Daiichi-Sankyo website for additional information.

Ferring Research Institute (FRI) is pleased to announce the launch of our new Ferring Innovation Grants program.

The goal of the program is to fund exploratory, discovery and preclinical research in FRI’s core therapeutic areas to identify novel drug targets that are addressable with peptides and/or proteins.

The program will provide a limited number of grants in the following categories:

  • Exploratory grants ($10,000) are designed to support feasibility studies that will confirm the target’s role in the proposed indication.
  • Discovery grants ($50,000) are designed to support further research on targets with existing in vitro data validating its utility in the proposed indication.
  • Competitive Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Fellowships($50,000) are designed to support research in one of FRI’s areas of interest.
  • The grants do not carry indirect costs and in all cases the intellectual property rights remain with the applicant. Funding will not be provided for clinical studies or proposals that require collection of patient biopsies. 

For more information and to submit an application please visit: 

On behalf of the Ferring Research Institute Management Team
For additional information please contact:

Williams S. Ettouati, PharmD
Director, Industrial Relations & Development
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, N.S.
University of California San Diego
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) is looking for academic collaboration throughout two different mechanisms one is through the Discovery Fast Track Challenge and the other through the Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc program)

1) Discovery Fast Track Challenge 2015(Please see attached flyers posted below) OPENS MARCH 23, 2015

Discovery Fast Track is a challenge that recognizes and rewards innovative concepts, discoveries and research by investigators at U.S. and Canadian research institutions, colleges and universities. Winning investigators will collaborate with a team of GSK scientists to put their innovative research concept on an accelerated drug discovery path. GSK will provide state-of-the-art capabilities to scale biological reagents and develop assays to support high-throughput screening of millions of compounds against your target or pathway. Our scientific expertise in data analysis and screening triage, combined with our capabilities, enable accelerated identification of high quality chemical probes.

Together, GSK and the winners will work to interpret the output to identify chemical probes that could further the research field and lead to high-impact publications.

Up to twelve proposals will be selected. If the proposal is chosen, GSK will work together to discover new pharmacologically active molecules via High Throughput Screening and/or Encoded Library Technology.

Winners will benefit in multiple ways

  • GSK will test their compound collection using their screening platforms to discover active compounds against your target.
  • Together GSK and the investigator will triage and interpret the data output to identify and confirm chemical probes.
  • GSK may provide chemical structures of selected chemical probe(s) to investigators to help further their research and potentially lead to high-impact publications (subject to GSK’s existing internal and external obligations).

Due: April 24, 2015

How to Submit: If you are interested in submitting a proposal to the Discovery Fast Track Challenge , please submit your proposal directly to GSK at

2) GSK Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc)

GSK is very interested in exploring research collaborations with Academic Center such as UCSD in all therapeutic area. DPAc is designed to provide resources to academic researchers. GSK is looking for projects with a specific and testable hypothesis that would deliver therapeutic benefit to patients. Your proposal can be in any disease area and based on any treatment modality, be it small molecule or biopharmaceutical.

What is GSK looking for: Novel Targets

  1. A coherent and supportable hypothesis that modulation of target will produce a physiological effect which will be of therapeutic benefit to particular patients.
  2. Specific drug target identified, and some understanding of type of pharmacology desired.
  3. Exclusive enabling expertise: Academic partner has unique know-how and/or expertise essential to progress the target.
  4. Tractability: A path to identification of a drug molecule can be defined. Target knowledge suggests that a drug-like molecule can be generated and a feasible path to demonstrating efficacy in the clinic can be identified.

Please see the attached presentation named GSK DPAc Discovery Partnerships with Academia for important information.

Due Date: Open

How to Submit: If you are interested in submitting a proposal for DPAc please submit your one or two page non-confidential proposal to Dr. Ettouati. Dr. Ettouati will forward your proposal to GSK on your behalf.

Please note that GSK has just established a new office here in San Diego, and therefore is able to come to UCSD regularly when projects are of interest.

Questions, please contact:

William S. Ettouati, PharmD
Director, Industrial Relations & Development
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, NS or cell: 858-699-5489858-699-5489

Medical Research Council Technology (MRCT)

MRCT is interested in partnering with UCSD Health Science Faculty in drug discovery. The MRCT is part of the Medical Research Council, MRC ( which is the equivalent of the NIH in the UK.

MRC Technology was established in 2000 to protect and create commercial opportunities arising from the UK's Medical Research Council scientific discoveries. MRCT mission is to commercialize science and develop improved healthcare products. Today, MRCT is focused on partnering and licensing technologies, drug discovery and developing medical devices. To date MRCT has generated over £500 million which has been used to fund further MRC research. Expertise MRCT’s Centre for Therapeutics Discovery (CTD) is focused on drug discovery based around small molecule and therapeutic antibody development.

MRCT teams of scientists have a wealth of assay development, medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical company drug discovery expertise. The CTD has state-of-the-art facilities and high quality, perse chemical libraries. MRCT is currently collaborating with academic organizations from all over the world and are looking to establish additional collaborations.

At the bottom of this page you will find the MRCT slide presentation, MRCT questionnaire / triage form for potential projects, and an additional flyer with more information on MRCT and a link to their collaborations website.

UC San Diego contact for questions and information:
Williams S. Ettouati, PharmD
Director, Industrial Relations & Development Health Sciences
Associate Clinical Professor, NS or 858-699-5489858-699-5489

Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR)

The NIBR is a world-class research organization with a unique research strategy driven by patient needs. Its research has intensifying focus on molecular pathways shared by various diseases and on integration of clinical insights with mechanistic understanding of disease. Its Research-to-Development transition is redefined through fast and rigorous "proof-of-concept" trials.

NIBR creates partnerships to access therapeutic products yet to show clinical proof-of-concept but which have the potential to address significant unmet medical need. They also create partnerships to access innovative technology platforms for novel drug discoveries, and explore and pursue opportunities outside the internal strategy that have the potential to set our future direction. It is therefore key for Novartis to establish strategic collaborations with academic institutions, research-based foundations, and biotech companies to strengthen NIBR's preclinical pipeline.

The following elements are the basis for evaluations and consideration of new targets and compounds:

  • Unmet medical need
  • The biology of the target is well validated
  • The molecular target and mode of action are well understood
  • Innovative technologies / platforms

A more detailed list of Novartis’s interest is available, please email Williams at

Novartis is also interested in exploring research collaborations with early stage projects if the area of research is considered of significant disruptive innovation.

Proposals and questions should be directed to:
William S. Ettouati, PharmD,
Director, Industrial Relations & Development,
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, NS or 858-699-5489858-699-5489

Novartis will evaluate research proposals using the following guidelines and expectations:

1. UC San Diego will send summary of projects to NIBR for selection and schedule of F2F meetings with strategic alliances (SA) and follow up presentation at UCSD in Feb. 2012 (selection of investigators to meet with will be done by SA together with relevant NIBR scientists in specific disease area or platform)

- here we do a first triage of projects

2. After the meeting in San Diego, NIBR SA will communicate back to NIBR's disease areas / platforms on projects discussed (usually we'll pass along presentations and have direct discussions based on the meeting above)

3. If NIBR scientists are interested in following up a defined project, SA will communicate to UCSD and schedule a conference call to put scientists together (always non-confidential)

4. If there is further interest in collaborating / licensing SA will put together a confidentiality agreement and schedule F2F meetings between scientists

5. SA will put together collaboration in place

Novo Nordisk Diabetes and Obesity Biologics Science Forum Program

Another round of funding will be announced in early 2014.

Invitation to submit Research Proposal

Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes innovation, is pleased to announce a new research funding and industry partnership opportunity. Opportunities are offered under a new scheme called the Novo Nordisk Diabetes and Obesity Biologics

Science Forum Program.

Novo Nordisk is inviting a limited number of leading US academic and medical research institutions to announce this opportunity among those faculty members who could potentially have novel ideas for biologics innovation within diabetes and obesity research.

These Awards can be granted to faculty members who enter this competitive process and submit proposals for nonclinical research. Both young and established scientists at invited institutions can apply.

The areas of research in scope of the Science Forum program are:

  • Non-clinical research related to new biologic therapeutics and targets amenable to biologics therapeutics or novel effects of known biologics in the field of Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, including micro- and macrovascular complications, and obesity.

The term ‘biologics’ means large peptide or protein ligands (e.g. hormones), inhibitory or modulating antibodies, immunotherapies, small interfering RNA (siRNA), and cell based concepts (e.g. stem cells). Such biologics either have to be novel or represent novel effects of a known entity.

The purpose of these Awards is to foster collaboration with Novo Nordisk R&D and facilitate translation of new ideas from early diabetes and obesity research into innovation by bringing new biologics concepts to a pre-clinical Proof of Principle milestone. Proposals will enter a two stage selection process. First, investigators need to submit a 2 page non-confidential summary to Novo Nordisk. Subsequent to this, Novo Nordisk will select proposals for full in depth presentations at a two day Science Forum where invited investigators present full details of their research proposals. Novo Nordisk will then decide on which proposals to fund following closing of the Science Forum sessions and ask for full research proposal submissions.

Types of Awards

Early Exploration: $250,0001 for a two year period

The Early Exploration Award supports nonclinical research for early-stage hypotheses that do not yet have (or only very limited) preliminary data but show considerable promise for advancing the treatment of diabetes or obesity. This includes target discovery proposals.

Proof of Principle (PoP): $500,0001 for a two year period

The Proof of Principle (PoP) Award supports nonclinical research for the validation of early stage innovations with sufficient supporting data to conclude on nonclinical PoP studies. In general, PoP studies will require results from experiments in established animal models, in vitro human systems or reduction to practise experiments for protein technologies.

As part of the PoP Award, Applicants have the option to have additional scientific support provided by Novo Nordisk. This may include supervision and counseling by Novo Nordisk senior scientists, custom synthesis of novel biologics (e.g. peptides and proteins), and access to Novo Nordisk marketed protein therapeutics and Novo Nordisk in-house specialized lab equipment and animal models.

1. Direct research costs only. In addition to funding of direct expenses, the Awards will cover Institution’s standard indirect costs (Facilities and Administrative). Total funding can thus go up to double this amount dependent on the host institution F&A rate.

Another round of funding will be announced in early 2014.

Applicants must use the 2 page non-confidential summary form provided below by Novo Nordisk and email it to Form name: Novo Nordisk Research Summary Template for Diabetes and Obestity Biologics Science Forum_West Coast.

To visit Novo Nordisk website, click here.

For more information please contact:
Kristian Tage Hansen, PhD
Senior Director
Head of Novo Nordisk Diabetes Innovation Award Program
+45 44434838+45 44434838 (direct)
+45 30754838+45 30754838 (mobile)

Or for assistance please contact:
William S. Ettouati, PharmD,
Director, Industrial Relations & Development,
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, NS or 858-699-5489858-699-5489


The Pfizer Center for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) program is a collaboration between Pfizer and UC San Diego investigators to develop protein therapeutics (e.g., monoclonal antibodies, antibody variants, recombinant proteins, Fc-fusion, pegylated proteins, antibody and protein conjugates, bispecific antibodies and peptides) and take them through successful proof-of-mechanism studies in humans (generally phase I clinical trials). All researchers, clinicians and post-docs may apply. Pre-Proposals will be selected by an approximately 10-member Joint Steering Committee (JSC), with equal representation from UC San Diego and Pfizer. Authors of selected Pre-Proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal to be written in collaboration with Pfizer scientists.

Key criteria for project selection and funding will include, among others:

  • Strength of data supporting validation of the target
  • Relevance to human disease
  • Ability of target to be treated with drug(s) based on protein therapeutic
  • Scientific assets (including potential lead candidate drugs)
  • Feasibility of scientific project
  • Clear path forward to proof-of-mechanism studies in humans

Note: Proposals that impact orphan or rare diseases are encouraged.

The next round of funding will occur in the second half of 2013.

For any technical questions please contact Andrew Wiseman PhD, Corporate Business Development Officer, UC San Diego Health Sciences ( at 858-699-5489858-699-5489). For more background on the program, please view the CTI Workshop Presentation

The Pre-Proposal must not contain confidential information. Unpublished information should not be disclosed. If you are concerned about whether confidential information is included in the proposal, or if you have any other questions, please contact Cortlandt Urquhart, Principal Contract and Grant Officer ( or at 858-534-0244858-534-0244)

Slides from the town hall meeting are available at the bottom of this page.

Roche - 2012 Round 3

Sponsor: F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd.
Program: UCSD Health Sciences-Roche Extending Innovation Network
Internal Receipt Deadline: December 3, 2012 by 8:00 AM
Award Amount:$100,000/year direct for two years
Date of this RFA: November 1, 2012

Overview: The University of California San Diego is partnered with Roche through their Extending Innovation Network (EIN), which also includes agreements with Harvard, UCSF, and other universities. The first two review cycles for the UCSD/EIN program were held in 2011 and 2012 and have led to four currently funded projects.

For this third cycle, Roche has not set specific areas of interest but is open to any innovative concept with potential to drive drug discovery. Key examples would be exploratory projects involving novel technology platforms or drug targets. The work should ultimately have potential to advance drug discovery in the broad areas of oncology, ophthalmology, CNS/neurology, virology or cardiovascular/metabolic disease.

Projects selected for funding normally receive $100,000 direct costs per year for a period of two years. Roche may also provide in-kind contributions to the project, such as cell lines or compounds, subject to agreement with the PI. (Note that in-kind support affects Roche’s intellectual property rights; interested faculty may also review the contract between Roche and UCSD). Promising projects that have the potential to grow past the initial two years are encouraged and may be supported via continued funding, commercialization, or formation of spinout ventures.

We anticipate announcing a call for proposals for the next round of funding later in 2013.

**For full details including internal review instructions, please view the attached RFA.**

Contact for questions:

The UCSD-Roche Extending Innovation Network program has selected three new projects for funding in Round 

3.Two additional submitted proposals are still being considered. Each project is funded for a total of $300,000 over two years, with milestones to be reviewed at the one-year mark. To date, the seven projects chosen for funding have received a total $2.1 million in research support.

A call for proposals for Round 4 is anticipated in late summer or early fall.

The new grants are:

Dr. David Kleinfeld (Dept of Physics and Neurobiology) will use designer, implantable cell-based sensors and advanced optics to help develop new therapies for neurological disease by providing direct readout of the neural effects of potential medications.

Dr. Jonathan Sebat (Dept of Psychiatry) recently discovered a molecular mechanism that may underly some cases of schizophrenia. He will expand these studies and search for new medications to treat schizophrenia by blocking this mechanism.

Dr. Gen-Sheng Feng (Dept of Pathology) will study how liver cancer becomes resistant to pharmaceuticals that are designed to block proliferative and tumorigenic pathways, with the ultimate goal of developing more effective treatments.

The Roche-UC San Diego agreement, finalized in June 2011, is designed to create and deepen relations with leading academic institutions worldwide in order to accelerate the discovery of new drug therapies. Other academic institutions that are partners with Roche in the EIN program include Harvard University and UC San Francisco. The program allows Roche to have the first look at in-licensing opportunities that match the company’s technology interests, and is designed to help bridge the gap between university research and pharmaceutical development.

SANOFI The Collaborate - Innovate Challenge

The Partners in Patient Health Collaborate challenge is back! Beginning today, Collaborate | Innovate is officially open for submissions, where teams can submit for a chance at the $100,000 grand prize.

Collaborate | Innovate is Partners in Patient Health's second challenge rooted in the idea that patient advocates can make a more meaningful impact on patient health through collaboration. The Challenge calls on teams of advocates to submit concepts that translate patient insights into new and novel solutions to improve the drug development process and ultimately improve patient health.

Entrants will be eligible for a prize purse of $100,000 in non-dilutive capital and access to industry-leading mentorship to fully optimize their proposed concepts.

The Challenge is open for submissions as of 8:00am EST today and will accept submissions through February 23, 2014 at 11:59pm EST. Visit the Challenge site to view the Challenge criteria, read about the process, and to submit a concept for consideration.

Entries must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Submitted concepts should focus on opportunities and collaborations that drive new thinking involving the role of the patient throughout the R&D process.
  • Teams must include two or more partnering organizations: Non-profit patient, provider, and professional associations, and academic institutions are encouraged to participate; a multidisciplinary approach is highly encouraged. Each team’s primary entrant must be a non-profit patient, provider or professional association (501c3, 501c4 or 501c6).
  • Submissions should include measurable goals with a clear view toward implementation.

For full rules and criteria for the Challenge, please visit the Collaborate | Innovate website.

Stay updated on the Challenge and help us spread the word!
Collaborate | Innovate Blog:

Challenge questions? Email us.

For additional information please contact:
Williams S. Ettouati, PharmD
Director, Industrial Relations & Development
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, N.S.
University of California San Diego
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

Interested in collaborating with small business?
Learn more about SBIR Grants for Health Sciences Faculty to Collaborate With Small Companies.

The SBIR program provides significant funding to small companies for early stage product development ideas. Although the Company must apply for the SBIR Grant, they can include and direct some of the funding to faculty collaborations. Phase 1 funding is up to $150,000 total funding for six months. Phase 2 funding is up to $1,000,000 total funding over two years. The NIH provides about $600 million in SBIR funding per year.

Introduction: The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs currently invest about $2.5 billion each year in small research and development companies through a highly competitive award process administered in phases by large federal agencies and overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration. These programs have been widely praised by groups such as the National Academies and have played a role in the emergence of companies like Qualcomm, Symantec, and many others since the program was created in 1982. You can get more information about the SBIR Program at

The NIH and other agencies fund both grants and contracts. The contracts are based on specific solicitations and can be found at Each year, Health and Human Services provides about $640 million in funding.

SBIR Mission and Program Goals: The mission of the SBIR program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.

The program’s goals are four-fold:

  1. Stimulate technological innovation
  2. Meet Federal research and development needs.
  3. Foster and encourage participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by socially and economically disadvantaged persons.
  4. Increase private-sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development funding.

For additional information, please refer to the SBIR information sheet and overview slides that are found at the bottom of this page.

UC San Diego Contact for questions:
William S. Ettouati, PharmD,
Director, Industrial Relations & Development,
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, NS or 858-699-5489858-699-5489

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Liminted (TCAL)

Takeda California, Inc. (TCAL) is the Center for Excellence in Structure Based Drug Discovery and Antibody Research for Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. TCAL’s therapeutic areas of interest are oncology, metabolic disease, inflammation and CNS.

TCAL invites academic researchers and their institutions to contact TCAL with non-confidential drug discovery-related proposals for potential research collaborations with TCAL. Proposals will be evaluated based on (i) the time and effort required to progress the collaboration to the clinical evaluation of a novel therapeutic agent; (ii) the associated project risks; and (iii) the potential commercial opportunity. For proposals that are found to be of interest, TCAL will enter into confidentiality agreements and entertain more detailed confidential proposals and discussions regard a potential collaboration.

A complete program description can be found at the bottom of this page.

UC San Diego contacts for questions and additional information:
William S. Ettouati, PharmD,
Director, Industrial Relations & Development,
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, NS or 858-699-5489858-699-5489

Kathryn A. Nguyen, PhD
Director of Development & Global Alliances
Assistant Clinical Professor, NS
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of California, San Diego

Wellcome Trust

Call for Proposals are updated often:

The Wellcome Trust Technology Transfer group has made two new funding programs, Seeding Drug Discovery and the Translational Fund, available to faculty from UC San Diego. Please refer to the websites described below for detailed information. The Technology Transfer group has confirmed that UC San Diego faculty are pre-approved to submit proposals to these programs.

Seeding Drug Discovery

The Seeding Drug Discovery scheme is for early stage, small molecule drug discovery. Proposals must include a significant medicinal chemistry element. Applicants can directly submit a preliminary application for triage by visiting the sponsor’s site.

Due: Contact the sponsor

Translation Fund

Our broadest scheme in terms of subject area is the Translation Fund. This covers funding for translational research in any field. Applications are by invitation only, and applicants initially need to submit a concept note to the team for review by visiting the sponsor’s site.

If you have questions, please contact the Wellcome Trust Technology Transfer directly or contact:
William S. Ettouati, PharmD,
Director, Industrial Relations & Development,
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, NS or 858-699-5489858-699-5489


GSK_DPAc Project Form.docx68.33 KB
MRCT talk at SSPPS Dec2011.pdf991.4 KB
MRCT_CFT_Submissions_Guide.pdf622.06 KB
MRCT Call for Targets proposal form.doc61.5 KB
SBIR Overview_UCSD.pdf353.31 KB
SBIR Overview Slides_25Jan12.pdf125.98 KB
TCAL - Academic Collaboration Request.pdf117.33 KB
Roche-EIN-RFA-Cycle 3_11 1 12.pdf278 KB
Novo Nordisk - Research summary template for Diabetes and Obesity Biologics Science Forum_West Coast.pdf84.98 KB
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