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NIAID to Fund Studies for Neglected Diseases Dx, Rx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases plans to grant up to $3.7 million in fiscal 2010 to fund between five and eight research programs to develop technologies that can contribute to the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment neglected infectious diseases.

The grants, which will give up to $750,000 for projects of five years or less that engage in a range of research areas, including using genome-wide association studies, target validation, cell line in early-stage studies, and various other approaches.

NIAID wants to develop these preventive, diagnostic, and vaccine-related technologies for diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, leishmaniasis, leprosy, schistosomiasis, and others by funding research conducted by groups with a track record of involvement in public-private partnerships.

Therapeutic, preventive, and diagnostic health care products are "expensive to develop," NIAID said in the funding announcement, citing an average cost of $802 million to see a drug through development, approval, and marketing. The idea of funding these public-private partnerships is to help speed up the development process for some diseases, it said.

The grants will not be used to fund Phase I, II, or III clinical trials.

These research programs also could include activities to optimize compounds for preclinical studies, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analyses, and safety and toxicology evaluation, among others.

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