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NIAID Offering $10.3M for Pathogen Dx, Therapeutics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases plans to grant up to $10.3 million in fiscal 2010 to fund research partnerships focused on developing diagnostics and therapeutics for drug-resistant bacteria and eukaryotic parasites.

NIAID will fund a range of research approaches for NIAID Category A, B, or C bacteria or eukaryotic parasites, as well as development of diagnostics or therapeutics against non-listed organisms for which naturally-occurring drug resistance is a growing clinical problem.

The research could include discovery or development of antimicrobial agents, target identification and validation for drug or drug targeting, preclinical evaluation, and applications that include collaborations across disciplines.

The Partnerships for Development of Therapeutics and Diagnostics for Drug-Resistant Bacteria and Eukaryotic Parasites grant program is split into two funding announcements.

Under an R01 grant, NIAID will commit $7.3 million in 2010 to fund between five and 10 applications with a total of up to $750,000 for annual budgets. These applicants may seek funding for up to five years.

NIAID will use a Small Business Innovation Research R43/R44 grant program to support five projects with up to $3 million in 2010. Phase I applicants may seek funding of up to $500,000 per year and Phase II applicants may seek up to $1 million per year for up to two years.

Ideally, NIAID said the medical diagnostics will be rapid, with a short sample processing time, sensitive enough to exceed the sensitivity of tests for the proposed pathogen or toxins that have been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration, and specific enough for FDA clearance.

The tests also should be easy to use, adaptable, and offer random access. Applications are also sought for applied research for medical diagnostics including both technology and development of tests to detect the noted pathogens.

The research programs could pursue nanotechnology, microfluidic-based systems, or other methods for processing large numbers of patient samples. They also could aim to develop methods for high-throughput, robotics, and automated data output, and portable tools for discerning the agents causing an infection within the first 24 hours after a patient has been admitted or reported on, and a range of other approaches and tools.

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