GSK Bioelectronics R&D

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Creating medicines that speak the electrical language of the body. In parallel with molecular control, the nervous system and its electrical signals is a fundamental axis of regulation in our bodies, with nerves connecting to virtually every organ. Technological advances have brought us to the cusp of being able to tap into the nerves that control organs. By doing so, we hope to intelligently modulate disease states using bioelectronic, in addition to molecular, medicines. GSK Bioelectronics R&D.

Summary

Our vision for bioelectronic medicines is one of miniature, implantable devices that can be attached to individual peripheral nerves anywhere in the viscera.

Such devices would be able to decipher and modulate neural signalling patterns, bringing about therapeutic effects targeted at single functions of specific organs. GSK operates an exploratory research funding program; we have established a $50 million venture arm dedicated to technology and early bioelectronic treatment manifestations and an innovation challenge focussed on rapidly bringing visceral nerve research platforms to the community.

 

Our vision for bioelectronic medicines is one of miniature, implantable devices that can be attached to individual peripheral nerves anywhere in the viscera. 

Such devices would be able to decipher and modulate neural signalling patterns, bringing about therapeutic effects targeted at single functions of specific organs. GSK operates an exploratory research funding program; we have established a $50 million venture arm dedicated to technology and early bioelectronic treatment manifestations and an innovation challenge focussed on rapidly bringing visceral nerve research platforms to the community.

Web Information

Website: http://www.gsk.com/en-gb/partnerships/bioelectronics-randd/

 

Contact Information

Emailroy.m.katso@gsk.com

Background

The BRAIN Initiative Fact Sheet 9/30/14

GlaxoSmithKline is announcing up to $5 million in new funding for the research community to develop innovative peripheral neurotechnologies:

In 2013, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced its ambition to develop new treatments for disease through neuronal control of visceral organs systems, an area where GSK believes there is opportunity for translation of innovative neurotechnology to create precision treatments for chronic diseases such as asthma, hypertension, and arthritis. Since then, the GSK Bioelectronic Medicines program has furthered work in the research community in this area through multiple efforts, including exploratory funding for academic scientists, a $50 million venture capital fund, and a Bioelectronics Innovation Challenge to rapidly develop peripheral nerve research tools. Today GSK is announcing that within the Innovation Challenge, in addition to the previously announced $1 million award for the solver of the Challenge, GSK will provide up to $5 million of funding to seed and development funding for researchers to de-risk, design, develop, and test technologies. Launching today, the fund will rapidly engage, assess, and fund teams starting work in January 2015. In the spirit of open collaboration, the Challenge requires the funded parties to provide unrestricted, royalty-free access for research pruposes to all technologies and tools developed throught the program.

About GSK Bioelectronics R&D

Creating medicines that speak the electrical language of the body

Our vision for bioelectronic medicines is one of miniature, implantable devices that can be attached to individual peripheral nerves anywhere in the viscera. Such devices would be able to decipher and modulate neural signalling patterns, bringing about therapeutic effects targeted at single functions of specific organs. This precision targeting would be further enhanced by bioelectronic medicines operating in a “closed-loop” fashion: that is, recording neural electrical activity plus associated physiological parameters, analysing this combined data in real time and modulating the neural signalling accordingly.

GSK is committed to catalysing this new field of research in several ways. For example, we operate an exploratory research funding program; we have established a $50 million venture arm dedicated to technology and early bioelectronic treatment manifestations and we are now running an innovation challenge focussed on rapidly bringing visceral nerve research platforms to the community.

The Innovation Challenge

The goal of this challenge is to advance research into bioelectronic medicines by addressing the broad need to interrogate neural signals in visceral nerves. The challenge will entail the generation of a miniaturized, implantable wireless device that can chronically record, stimulate and block functionally specific neural signals to and from a single visceral organ over a 60 a day period. The first team to demonstrate full functionality of their device according to specified criteria will be awarded a US$1 million prize.

 

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