Angelini Pharma partners with Wazoku to improve target identification in epilepsy

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images - credit PonyWang
© Getty Images - credit PonyWang

Related tags Epilepsy Research drug-resistant treatments Research and development Digital Innovation

International pharmaceutical firm Angelini Pharma has initiated a creative crowdsourcing campaign aimed at enhancing target identification in epilepsy, particularly focusing on drug-resistant phenotypes.

Partnering with scale-up Wazoku, Angelini Pharma announced yesterday (March 11) that it aims to make use of the collective wisdom and expertise of its 700,000-strong crowd to drive innovation in epilepsy treatment.

The challenge, titled ‘New Digital Approaches to Target Discovery in Epilepsy,’ marks the beginning of a strategic collaboration between Angelini Pharma and Wazoku. The initiative seeks to uncover new digital approaches to target identification in epilepsy, with a specific emphasis on collecting and integrating multiple data types and developing new algorithms and tools for target selection.

Epilepsy, a neurological disorder affecting over 50 million individuals worldwide, presents a significant challenge, and according to the research undertaken by the company, approximately one-third of patients experience drug-resistant seizures.

Urgent need for more epilepsy treatments

Recognizing the urgent need for more effective therapies, Angelini Pharma aims to tackle innovative digital solutions to enhance target identification in drug-resistant epilepsy, thereby bolstering its early-stage pipeline and supporting its commitment to brain health.

Rafal Kaminski, chief scientific officer at Angelini Pharma, said he was optimistic about the potential impact of the open innovation challenge.  

He said: “Through this open innovation challenge, we expect to identify innovative digital solutions with the potential to improve the identification of new targets in drug-resistant epilepsy that can be validated preclinically. This would help us build our early-stage pipeline, thus supporting our efforts in brain health.”

Open innovation - a powerful tool

The company, known for its dedication to researching, developing, and commercializing health solutions, particularly in the field of brain health, views this collaboration with Wazoku as a significant step in driving innovation in epilepsy treatment.

This marks the company's first Open Innovation Challenge with Wazoku, signaling its commitment to embracing innovative approaches to address unmet medical needs.

Open innovation has emerged as a powerful tool in the pharmaceutical sector, facilitating accelerated drug discovery and development while addressing challenges such as rising operational costs and talent shortages.

Benefits of collective intelligence

Dino Ribic, innovation consultant at Wazoku, highlighted the transformative potential of open innovation, saying: “Progressive companies like Angelini Pharma have recognized the benefits of collective intelligence, and I can't wait to see what the Wazoku Crowd delivers in this instance.”

The Wazoku Crowd, comprising a diverse network of expert problem solvers, boasts a success rate of over 80% in solving more than 2,500 challenges, delivering over 200,000 innovations in the process. With cash prizes totaling up to $25,000 available for the "New Digital Approaches to Target Discovery in Epilepsy" challenge, Angelini Pharma anticipates receiving groundbreaking proposals from the Wazoku Crowd. The challenge is set to close on Monday next week, (18 March 2024). 

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