Sanofi Innovation Awards Call for Pre-Proposals

Sanofi is a global life sciences company committed to improving access to healthcare and supporting the people we serve throughout the continuum of care.

Sanofi iAwards initiative is a multi-institutional partnership program designed to support collaborations with academic investigators to accelerate innovative early stage, disease-relevant research towards the clinic. With this program, Sanofi aims to fund cutting-edge translational research that can contribute to our early-stage pipeline and ultimately benefit patients.
Award winning proposals will receive

  •  $150,000 research funding including institutional direct and indirect costs for 12 months with up to 12 awards given in the 2023-2024 cycle
  • Sanofi R&D expertise and guidance

Sanofi’s main objective in creating the iAwards program is to convert successful and promising iAwards projects to sponsored research programs and subsequently create in-licensing and start-up opportunities with the potential to continuously enrich Sanofi’s early-stage portfolio.

Pre-Proposal submission:
Provided with this call is the pre-proposal submission template, as well as some guidance on areas of interest and general selection criteria (cf p3).

Only selected members of Sanofi and your Institution will have access to your pre-proposal which shall be considered as confidential. However, we recommend that information in the pre-proposal should not contain any confidential information or unpublished results. Proposals should not include third parties except members from other Partner institutions also involved in the iAwards Program (listed on page 4).
All pre-proposals must be submitted by the partner TTO to Sanofi by June 2nd, 2023 at the latest using this link.

The timelines of the iAwards North America Program 2023-24 are further described on page 4. Pre-proposals that would not respect the guidelines (format, timelines, etc.) will not be evaluated.

Ares of interest:


  • New and actionable knowledge about disease relevant targets, pathways and mechanisms
  • Early-stage compounds or biologics targeting novel disease mechanisms
  • New models for validating disease relevant targets
  • Novel therapeutic modalities


  • Priority indications: atopic dermatitis, asthma, COPD, and IBD.
  • Novel targets, assays, animal models, molecular understanding of disease and back-translational strategies, including endotype and biomarker identification
  • Mechanisms of immune regulation and tolerance induction including Tregs and myeloid cells
  • Immune regulation by Immune Checkpoint Receptors


  •  Biology, transport mechanisms and delivery of therapeutics to muscle and/or CNS
  • Novel targets, models, and therapeutic concepts for Rare Metabolic, CNS or Musculoskeletal Diseases
  • Novel targets, assays, models, biomarkers, and therapeutic concepts for proteinopathies (synuclein, tau and TDP-43)
  • Novel targets and mechanisms for neuroinflammation and/or to achieve neuroprotection in neurodegenerative diseases including MS, ALS, PD and AD


  •  Gene therapy and gene editing approaches applied primarily to Rare Diseases, Rare Blood Disorders
  • and Neurological and ocular diseases
  • CNS gene delivery and/or neuromuscular gene delivery technologies, such as AAV capsids that enable recombinant virus penetration of blood-brain barrier following intravenous, intracerebroventricular or intrathecal delivery approaches
  • AAV platform and other gene delivery technology (non-AAV platform), such as virus-free gene delivery technology.
  • Mechanisms of addressing AAV immunity
  • Approaches to minimize DRG toxicity

ONCOLOGY - Adult and childhood cancers

  • Mechanisms of innate and acquired resistance to checkpoint blockade
  • Tumor microenvironment targeting programs / Modulation of immunosuppressive myeloid lineages
  • Synthetic lethal paradigms
  •  Immune profiling methodologies in preclinical and clinical setting
  • Novel translational models in Immuno-Oncology

Precision Medicine and Computational Biology

  • Spatial biology to understand disease etiology at the cellular and molecular level
  • LLM and generative modeling approaches: applications to drug discover
  • Predictive modeling and digital twins in immune-mediated diseases
  •  Disease endotyping and patient stratifications using AI/ML and multi-modal approaches
  • Multi-modal data integration for digital portraits of diseases and applications to drug discovery

Call timelines:

April 21: Call for Pre-proposals submission by Institutions
June 1: Submit your completed Pre-Proposal to [email protected] for review.
June 2: Submission of completed Pre-Proposals to Sanofi by Institutions. 
July 11: Notification Pre-proposals chosen to be pursued - Call for Full Proposals
Sept 1: Submission of Full Proposals to Sanofi by Institutions
Oct. 12: Feedback from Therapeutic Areas received, informational meetings scheduled
Oct. 24: Announcements made for 2023 iAward winners

Related Documents: