GlaxoSmithKline has just launched a $5 million Innovation Challenge Fund to advance open-access technology in the bioelectronics space.

The funding’s aimed toward biz-savvy academics and startups that are working to create a new class of treatments that aren’t necessarily pills or injections, but rather are mini implantable devices. GSK says:”The hope is that these devices could be programmed to read and correct the electrical signals that pass along the nerves of the body, to treat disorders as diverse as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, asthma, hypertension and diabetes.”

In 2013, GSK launched the challenge with a $1 million award – this adds on that. Additionally, any tools and tech that come from ICF-funded programs will be made freely available to the global research community – this isn’t a big pharma play for exclusive access to a technology.

“We see the development of bioelectronic medicines as a collaborative process that will only be successful with the combined skills of world-leading engineers, physiologists, neuroscientists and informatics experts,” Moncef Slaoui, Chairman of Global R&D and Vaccines at GSK, said in a statement.

via GSK commits $5M to startups, academics that develop bioelectronics.