Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Technologies to deliver poorly membrane-permeable peptides

Request Number
Due Date
Feb 10
Program Manager

Joint research, licensing

Feasibility study: Approx. 6 months to 1 year
(Timing of start to be determined upon consultation)

Negotiable, depending on the technology proposed

How to  Apply
  • Click on "Respond", complete the form to the extent possible, and submit along with other attachment files available. 
  • After creating your account for NineSights, your draft will be automatically saved and you can resume later from "Control Center". Please note you do not submit confidential information at this process.
  • This request for proposals in PDF format is available here.
If you have any questions or request, please feel free to contact us at: 
RFP was closed on
Mar 2019

RFP Title


Technologies to deliver poorly membrane-permeable peptides
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing Shionogi & Co., Ltd. ( ), seeks a drug formulation technology including modification like conjugation or DDS to deliver poorly membrane-permeable peptides into target cells.

Key Success Criteria

Target poorly membrane-permeable peptides

  • Molecular weight: Approx. 500–2000

Technology requirements

The Client seeks either one of the following types of technologies:

(1) A formulation / DDS technology to deliver poorly membrane-permeable peptides into target cells

  • Target sites / diseases: Not specified

                       * Excludes technologies that are applicable only to cancer cells

  • Routes of administration: Oral, intravenous, subcutaneous and intramuscular injections (delivered through blood vessels into target cells), transnasal (delivered from olfactory bulbs into brain tissues), transpulmonary (delivered into / retained in lung cells, for lung diseases), etc.

(2) A formulation / DDS technology to enhance gastrointestinal absorption of poorly membrane-permeable peptides with both of para- and trans-cellular routes.

Delivery technology requirements

  • Drug effects verifiable in a cell assay system
    • Preferably, the reproducibility of the delivery efficiency has already been established in the laboratory
    • Preferably, the effects are verifiable in vivo
  • A technology that is applicable generally, rather than one that can only be applied to a single specific compound
  • Note that a proposal is welcome if the technology has a potential of fulfilling the above-stated requirements in the future, even if it is not applicable to poorly membrane-permeable peptide compounds at present.
Possible Approaches

Possible Approaches

The Client expects technologies such as the following, but is open to others that satisfy the requirements stated above:

  • Technology to deliver a drug into target cells by using a formulation based on an LNP (lipid nanoparticle) formulation, a liposome formulation, or a polymer micelle formulation, etc.
  • Technology to enhance gastrointestinal absorption of a drug administered orally: orally administered microneedle, receptor-targeting particles, absorption promoter, tight-junction opening particles, mucosa-adhesive formulations, etc.
  • Technology that enhances membrane permeability of a peptide compound by means of chemical modification, to ensure the delivery of a drug into the target cells or enhance its gastrointestinal absorption
Approaches not of Interest

Approaches Not of Interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Technology that is applicable only to cancer cells
    • Those that have a potential of future applicability to diseases other than cancer will be accepted for consideration.
  • Technology that is applicable only to a specific peptide compound(s)
Items to be Submitted


The Client possesses technology of their own to create peptide compounds that have potent effects on the drug discovery target, and has been carrying out research and development for the creation of new drugs based on a peptide compound. If this proposed project is successful in combining the technology with a formulation or DDS technology that enables the effective delivery into cells of peptides, including those that have poor permeability, it can help further accelerate / evolve the research and development of peptide drugs. The Client has therefore decided to make this RFP to accelerate their peptide drugs research and development through collaboration with a partner who possesses a delivery technology to improve the cell entry ability of peptide compounds discovered in-house.

Note that the Client welcomes a proposal of a technology that has a potential of fulfilling the above-stated requirements in the future, even if it is not applicable to poorly membrane-permeable peptide compounds at present.


Anticipated Project Process

After the submission due date, the client will review all submitted proposals. NineSigma will send the review results to each proposer 6-8 weeks after the due date. The client possibly asks clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidates for collaboration. The client will select best candidates through evaluations. Once selected, candidate technology(s) will be validated in a feasibility study, etc. During the selection process, the client may execute non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with selected respondents, seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific development targets or potential opportunities. The client will execute necessary agreements with the selected respondents and move to the advanced development phase. Specifics of any collaboration will be determined through consultation with the concerned parties.

Notes on Response

Proposal shall have clear points and should not include confidential information. Supplemental files may be submitted in addition to the proposal.

Response evaluation

The client will evaluate all responses with the following criteria.

  • Overall scientific and technical merit
  • Approach to proof of concept or performance
  • Economic potential of concept
  • Realism of the proposed plan (action items, timeline, roles, deliverables, cost estimation)
  • Potential for proprietary position
  • Respondents’ capability and related experiences
Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest