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NCI to Fund Small Businesses Developing Molecular Analysis Tools

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Cancer Institute plans to fund small businesses undertaking projects to develop new molecular or cellular analysis tools for use in cancer research and clinical care, according to a new funding announcement.

These Small Business Innovation Research grants will fund R&D projects under NCI's Innovative Molecular Analysis Technology (IMAT) program, which supports early-stage development and validation of high-risk, high-payoff tools that improve the molecular or cellular analysis of cancer.

These SBIR grants will provide small businesses with up to $150,000 for Phase I projects and up to $1 million for Phase II efforts, although in certain cases these awards may go as high as $225,000 for Phase I and $1.5 million for Phase II projects, if there is appropriate justification.

The IMAT program launched in 1998 with the aim of advancing the development of tools that will improve molecular and cellular analysis of cancer in both the lab and the clinic.

This new funding will support those goals by helping to ease the path toward commercialization of technologies that offer significant advantages over methods, tools, and approaches that are currently available.

The technology areas NCI wants these grants to support include tools for deciphering the mechanisms underlying cancer initiation and progression; for improving early cancer detection and risk assessment; for distinguishing, assessing, or monitoring cancer progression; for facilitating drug development; for enhancing molecular analyses in cancer epidemiology; for assessing general analyte quality; for preparing and processing samples; and for overcoming barriers in research.