NEW YORK, May 2 (GenomeWeb News) - The National Institutes of Health issued last week detailed an initiative designed to validate candidate biomarkers for various human diseases for which the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases expects to fund up to 10 new grants per year.
According to the announcement, the effort is looking for biomarkers for well-defined "diseases of liver, kidney, urological tract, digestive and hematologic systems, and endocrine and metabolic disorders, diabetes and its complications, and obesity, for which there are no or very few biomarkers, or for which standard biomarkers are currently prohibitively invasive or expensive.
Especially of interest would be studies designed to test the validity of candidate biomarkers or new technologies to monitor candidate biomarkers in patient tissue samples or small groups of well-characterized patients."
Both for-profit and nonprofit organizations are eligible for funding under the program announcement, the NIH said. The initiative includes, but is not limited to, studies in well-characterized patients or in biological samples from well-characterized patients that show that a biomarker or a set of biomarkers is unique for a disease of interest.
The studies are also limited to humans to determine whether a biomarker correlates well with pathogenesis, disease processes, progression or regression of disease, response to therapy, or accepted clinical endpoints. Furthermore, studies will aim to design or improve the biomarker assay system and to make it, among other things, repeatable, quantitative, and translatable to many laboratories, or to fall within costs that are appropriate for clinical use.
The program is set to run until September 2008. Additional details can be found here. Awards will use the NIH Research Project Grant (R01) and Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21) award mechanisms, the NIH added.