Today, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced its first-ever Golden Ticket Competition to find the next promising treatment for cystic fibrosis in a collaboration with Bakar Labs, the incubator at the University of California, Berkeley’s Bakar BioEnginuity Hub.

Researchers developing new technologies in gene editing, gene delivery, and gene therapy/gene insertion that have potential application to cystic fibrosis are invited to apply for the competition starting May 2. Up to three winners will receive one year of free laboratory space and support at Bakar Labs to help advance their transformative work.

“As part of our relentless pursuit of a cure, we are dedicated to investing in early stage science. We know that to make progress toward our bold mission to cure CF, we need to attract bold, like-minded researchers,” said Martin Mense, PhD, senior vice president of drug discovery and director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Lab in Lexington, Mass. “This Golden Ticket Competition provides the incredible resources of both the Foundation and Bakar Labs to help great minds bring ambitious ideas closer to reality.”

The CF Foundation is offering winning applicants an opportunity to tap into its unparalleled research infrastructure along with access to the world’s foremost research and knowledge in cystic fibrosis. This includes scientific experts and advice, lab/research tools and techniques, cell and sample collections, an extensive Patient Registry, clinical trial design support, and a Therapeutics Development Network of more than 90 clinical trial sites in the U.S.

Mense continued, “We refuse to wait for scientific advances to come to us. Instead, we are constantly exploring new approaches to drive research, to bring tomorrow’s breakthrough technologies into cystic fibrosis research today.”

Much of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s success is attributed to its long history of taking risks on early-stage science. Starting with funding academic research grants, over time the Foundation began investing in companies to accelerate the pace of research. Over the past two decades, the Foundation has invested in close to 200 companies to help them de-risk upfront investments.

By spearheading this competition, the Foundation is taking a step further — than it ever has before — by extending an invitation to be part of its legacy to a new audience of scientists who are in the very earliest stages of translating their research into a potential therapy. Some of the most exciting research today is being done at academic labs by scientists who want to launch new biotech companies, and the Foundation hopes to champion these burgeoning researchers in those efforts.

Applications for the Golden Ticket Competition will be open from May 2-30, 2022. Finalists will be invited to present to a panel of judges from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Bakar Labs during an in-person pitch day event on July 20, 2022 at Bakar Labs.

For more information on eligibility and to apply, visit the Golden Ticket Competition page.