2024 Testa Challenge launches focusing on antibody-drug conjugates

  • Antibody-drug conjugates are gaining traction as an alternative or complementary therapy for different types of cancers
  • Contest opened March 11, 2024; five winners will spend three weeks in Uppsala, Sweden testing their innovations
  • Biotech firms and academic researchers interested in accessing a live bioprocess run for their technical and digital innovation projects are encouraged to apply

Cytiva and Testa Center are inviting scientific companies and researchers to compete for the opportunity to accelerate their innovations in the moonshot dream of treating or ultimately curing cancer.

The 2024 Testa Challenge is focused on the scale up and manufacturing of antibody (Ab) intermediates, as it relates to Ab-drug conjugates (ADCs). The contest is for emerging biotechnology companies and academic researchers who need extra resources to help validate their technologies before moving to the next phase of development. Entries are accepted between March 11, 2024 and April 22, 2024.

Dr. Beate Mueller-Tiemann, Chief Technology Officer, Cytiva says: “Innovation happens at the intersection of different disciplines, industries, and organizations. Thanks to our collaboration with the Swedish government to create a non-profit innovation center, we can bridge the gap between discovery and industrialization. For three years, the challenges have taken on timely topics in the life sciences and supported incredible discoveries. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the ADC-focused challenge.”

Winners can test their technologies in a standard biomanufacturing environment in Uppsala, Sweden. This offers an opportunity to validate winners’ innovations, reducing their future risk and shortening their time to market, without incurring the cost of accessing a live antibody bioprocess run. The five winning companies will access the same run and retain full ownership of their technology and generated Intellectual Property (IP).

Jesper Hedberg, Leader, Testa Center, says: “We chose ADCs for this year’s challenge because of the rapid growth within the field. Making an ADC is a complex process. The Ab intermediate is a key first step to this life-changing therapy. This is an event dear to my heart. I always look forward to being part of the creativity and curiosity of aspiring world- changers.”

An independent panel will evaluate and rate applicants against a predetermined set of criteria. The five winners must be available to work at Testa Center in Sweden from August 26 – September 13, 2024. Winners will be announced in early May.

Ready to take up the challenge?

Cytiva and the Drop logo are trademarks of Global Life Sciences Solutions USA LLC.

About Testa Center

Testa Center is an initiative between the Swedish government and Cytiva to secure the growth of the life science industry and its manufacturing capabilities. The main objective is to bridge the gap from discovery to industrialization. Testa Center is operated as a non-profit company and is fully owned by Cytiva.

About Cytiva

At Cytiva, our mission is to advance and accelerate the development of therapeutics. With nearly 15 000 associates in more than 40 countries, we’re driven to use our expertise and talent to achieve better flexibility, capacity, and efficiency for our customers. Our broad and deep portfolio of tools and technologies, global scale, and best-in-class service provides critical support from discovery to delivery, for customers spanning researchers, emerging biotech, large-scale biopharma and contract manufacturers.

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