Compound Challenge

You are invited to provide an original synthesis protocol for a small molecule.


The Challenge

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, hosts the 2nd Compound Challenge, a competition to identify the best submitted synthetic route for a given small molecule as determined by:

  • number of synthesis steps
  • obtained yield
  • achieved purity

Anyone from around the world may register for the competition. After the registration deadline, all those registered for the challenge receive the structure of a small molecule and submit their proposed synthesis route within 96 hours. All the submitted routes are anonymized, and all registered participants are assigned to evaluate part of these anonymized routes in a randomized manner. Based on the participants evaluation, we then select the top 10 best evaluated routes to participate in the synthesis phase of the challenge. These selected routes are tested in a wet lab and the participants with the best route, as determined by the above criteria, wins a prize of EUR 10,000.

Who can apply?

Participating

Anyone from around the world may participate, as an individual or in a team. This challenge is not open to HCPs.

How does it work?

  • Application by “Registration Form” and accepting terms and conditions. 
  • Submit your own (single applicant) or your team’s (team application) completed registration, “Registration Form”, by e-mail to  Open.Innovation@emdgroup.com before 23:59 (CET) January 31st, 2020. 
  • We provide the structure of a small molecule to all registered participants on February 14th, 2020 at 09:00 (CET). 
  • Participants have 96 hours to generate and submit a synthesis route to the e-mail address provided by us. 
  • All obtained synthesis routes are anonymized, and each participant is assigned to evaluate several of these anonymized routes.
  • We select the top 10 best evaluated routes, to be tested in an actual chemical synthesis with a CRO of our choice. 
  • The winner, based on the above criteria, will receive a EUR 10,000 prize.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will not attempt to commercialise any of the submitted synthetic routes.

Apply now

Your Benefits

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to award a grand total of EUR 10,000 prize to the winning participants who arrive at the best synthesis route, as based on the wet lab synthesis results, for a given small molecule as determined by the above criteria. Furthermore, the selected participants will have the chance to gain access to potential collaborations, which include access to enabling resources and contacts.

FAQ

Tools to assist?

Tools to assist?

You may use any tools/techniques/software which you are legally allowed to use for the purposes of this challenge. We only ask that you refrain from receiving assistance from anyone outside of your registered team.

What about publicity?

What about publicity?

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany retains the exclusive right to make any press release or any kind of public communication about the competition. Confidential details on project content will not be revealed.

What about confidentiality?

What about confidentiality?

All proposals will be handled under confidentiality unless written permission is provided by the applicant.

What happens if I submit my molecule after the deadline?

What happens if I submit my molecule after the deadline?

Only proposals submitted within the competition timeline will be considered.

How will I ensure that my proposal has been seen?

How will I ensure that my proposal has been seen?

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will send you a confirmation email. 

How long will the competition last?

How long will the competition last?

All participants will receive the molecular structure at the same time and will then have 96 hours to submit their synthesis route. 

What feedback will I receive after I have submitted my synthetic route?

What feedback will I receive after I have submitted my synthetic route?

All routes that are submitted by registered participants within the timeframe of the challenge will receive a confirmation email from us.

All submitters will be informed whether their proposal is selected to proceed to the wet lab synthesis.

All proposals submitted for a wet lab synthesis will receive the results on how their proposed synthetic route performed in the wet lab.

If your proposal is selected as the winning route, you will obtain a prize of EUR 10,000. 

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