The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) is seeking proposals for innovative technology in support of the In vivo Nanoplatforms for Therapeutics (IVN:Tx) initiative. The effort was announced in a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) released this week.
The overall program objective is to develop radically new classes of adaptable, biocompatible nanotherapeutic platforms that can be programmed “on-the-fly” to treat military-relevant diseases. The IVN:Tx thrust is for development of new methods to increase nanotherapeutic safety that minimizes the dose required for clinically relevant efficacy and limits immunogenicity.
IVN:Tx also seeks to develop new methods to increase nanotherapeutic effectiveness by targeting delivery to specific tissues or uptake by cells of interest, increasing bioavailability, knocking down medically relevant molecular targets, and increasing resistance to degradation. The solicitation specifically mentions that “successful nanotherapeutic platforms should enable treatment of military-relevant diseases such as infections caused by multi-drug resistant organisms and conditions due to traumatic brain injury.”
Under a separate BAA, DARPA solicited proposals to develop the nanoscale systems necessary for in vivo sensing and physiologic monitoring of warfighters as components of the In vivo Nanoplatforms for Diagnostics (IVN:Dx) thrust of the IVN program. This companion solicitation for the In vivo Nanoplatforms for Therapeutics (IVN:Tx) thrust seeks proposals describing novel nanotherapeutics with tailored sequence, specificity, and functionality to address the therapeutics objective of the program.
Together these BAAs work to will enable a versatile and rapidly adaptable system to provide medical and operational support to the warfighter in any location. DARPA encourages the development of standalone diagnostic and therapeutic technologies within each thrust in order to optimize the technologies, capabilities, and applications developed within the IVN program. Proposals to develop small molecule therapeutics for treatment of a specific disease are not being sought under this BAA.
Full details are available under Solicitation Number: DARPA-BAA-12-34. Proposal abstracts are due July 18, 2012. The full proposal response deadline is September 18, 2012.