Targeted Genome Editor Delivery Challenge

Illustration of DNA modification

Illustration of DNA modification (Shutterstock, vchal)

Key Dates

  • Phase 1 Launch (Registration Open): May 15, 2023
  • Informational Webinar: June 1, 2023
  • Phase I Deadline: Oct. 5, 2023
  • Phase I Winners Announced: December 2023


Gene editing is a promising way to treat genetic diseases at the source by correcting faulty genetic patterns within our cells. Scientists now can edit genomic sequences quickly and precisely, but delivering gene editing tools to many tissues and cell types well enough to edit the genetic errors that cause serious diseases is often challenging. The lack of ideal delivery methods keeps gene editing from fulfilling its potential as a treatment.

NIH launched the TARGETED (Targeted Genome Editor Delivery) Challenge to find creative ways to deliver genomic editors to somatic cells, which are the cells in the body other than the reproductive cells.

Challenge Goals

The TARGETED Challenge aims to improve the current state of in vivo delivery technologies for genome editors in two target areas: (1) programmable delivery system to deliver genome editing machinery that can target specific tissues or cell types, and (2) highly efficient non-viral delivery systems capable of crossing the brain’s protective blood–brain barrier to deliver genome editing machinery to a substantial proportion of clinically relevant cell types in the central nervous system.

The Challenge is open to teams from organizations or institutions, particularly those in the genome editing or genome editor delivery fields and from delivery technology developers who have not previously delivered genome editors but have delivered other macromolecules. The Challenge will take place in three phases: (1) proposal, (2) preliminary data, and (3) final data, independent testing, and validation.

Find more information about the Challenge on the Freelancer website or


If you have questions, please reach out to the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program.

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