The National Institutes of Health (NIH) this week announced a grant opportunity for exploratory and developmental research projects on therapeutics countermeasures for acute exposures to chemical threat agents.
The grants are focused on development of new or improved therapeutic drugs that will enhance medical response capabilities during a chemical agent emergency situation.
Funds will be utilized to support 1-2 year pilot studies such as creation and validation of screening assays for therapy development, identification of candidate therapeutics, and development of preliminary proof of principle data on the efficacy of candidate therapeutics.
Drugs only effective if administered prior to chemical insult (pre-treatment) or those that must be given within a very short period (1-15 minutes) after the insult will be of low priority. Since many chemical threats have rapid modes of action, the drug should act rapidly to counter these effects.
It is expected that the preliminary data from these R21 studies will be used in research applications for transition to related research and development programs, to include milestone-driven Cooperative Agreement funding programs within the NIH CounterACT Program.
The funding utilizes an NIH R21 grant mechanism intended to encourage developmental research by providing support for the early and conceptual stages of project development. Further details are available under Funding Opportunity Announcement: PAR-13-005. Applications will be accepted beginning December 30, 2012.