• The Healey Scholars Program: Request for Applicants

    Due date for nominations is January 15, 2021

    The Healey Scholars Program will empower young investigators to learn how to develop new treatments for people living with ALS. This two-year program is designed to engage clinician-scientists and post-doctoral fellows to gain training and experience in therapy development for ALS at their home institution with the optional industry experience in year two. All Healey Scholars will be part of the broader Healey & AMG Center’s global community. By engaging motivated and creative individuals with a passion for bringing treatments to people living with ALS, we will expand the community of experts and expedite therapy development. We believe strongly in identifying, supporting, and mentoring the next generation of researchers continuing this tradition through our Healey Scholars Program. Click here to visit our website.

    Healey Scholars will be an integral member of the Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Mass General and will benefit from mentorship by world renowned scientists and clinicians. While working closely with their mentors at their home institution, the Scholars will also attend Healey Center meetings and learn first-hand approaches to therapy development. Importantly, Scholars will have the opportunity to engage with people living with ALS. In addition, successful candidates interested in understanding the drug development process from an industry perspective, will benefit from an optional six-month internship in industry during the second year of their scholarship.

    Award Details

     2 years of funding to support a clinician-scientist or post-doctoral fellow working in the ALS field anywhere in the world.
     $150,000 award/funding year
     Recipient must commit at least 75% effort to the proposed ALS research plan

    Eligibility

    Candidates with Ph.D. or M.D. with strong publication record. International applicants are encouraged to apply.
    The ALS focused proposal must have a strong scientific rationale and should be largely developed by the fellow with guidance from his/her mentor
    Eligibility for this award is based on the date the candidate attained their specialist qualification. Scholars will be considered if they have completed their specialist qualification (i.e., US Residency; Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, etc.) no more than 5 years prior to the start of this award.

    Application Due Dates:

    Release of RFA: November 2, 2020

    Applications Due: January 15, 2021

    Notification of Award: March 2021

    Initiation of Award*: July 1, 2021 (flexible once contracts signed)

    *Note: Once the award has been finalized the Healey Center for ALS will work with the successful candidate to secure an industry internship in the second year of the fellowship.

    For queries contact: HealeyCenterforALS@mgh.harvard.edu

    To download an application form: click here

  • FightMND Drug Development Grants

    These grants support the preclinical research, development and assessment of therapeutics for MND/ALS through to (and including) completion of Phase I clinical trials.

    Click here to download a copy of the Drug Development Grants Criteria

    These grants are each awarded with an offer of up to AUD $1,000,000 in support available for 3-year projects (Projects with a period of performance of less than 3-years will also be considered).

    Eligibility: Applications are open to MND/ALS researchers globally.

    KEY DATES

    Applications Open: 30 October 2020
    Letter of Intent due: 15 January 2021
    Submit Letter of Intent to: researchgrants@fightmnd.org.au
    Invitation to submit full application: 1 February 2021
    Full application due: 1 April 2021 at 17:00 AEDT
    Recipients Notified: August 2021

    More Information on the FightMND website

  • FightMND Clinical Trial Grants

    These grants support Phase II/III clinical trials of novel, high-potential treatments for MND/ALS within the Australian Clinical Trials Consortium.

    Click here to download a copy of the Clinical Trial Grants Criteria

    These grants are awarded with an offer of up to AUD $1,500,000 (Phase II/III trial) with a project performance of up to 3 years.

    Eligibility: Applications are open to MND/ALS researchers globally. Australian trial sites mandatory.

    KEY DATES

    Applications Open: 30 October 2020
    Letter of Intent due: 15 January 2021
    Submit Letter of Intent to: researchgrants@fightmnd.org.au
    Invitation to submit full application: 1 February 2021
    Full application due: 1 April 2021 at 17:00 AEDT
    Recipients Notified: August 2021

    More Information on the FightMND website

  • RFA-TS-21-001 Identify and Evaluate Potential Risk Factors for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is pleased to announce publication of research grant Notice of Funding Opportunity RFA-TS-21-001 Identify and Evaluate Potential Risk Factors for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. RFA-TS-21-001 may be viewed, and applications submitted, at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=329684. Applications are due to CDC/ATSDR by March 29, 2021 at 5:00PM EST.

    ATSDR is seeking investigator initiated research that will further the understanding of potential risk factors for ALS, while supporting the ATSDR National ALS Registry's mission. The National ALS Registry's goals are to estimate the number of new ALS cases each year, estimate the number of people who have ALS at a specific point in time, better understand who gets ALS, and identify what contributing factors, including environmental, may affect ALS. ATSDR is seeking investigator-initiated research that will identify and evaluate risk factors contributing to ALS, with preferred focus in this Notice of Funding Opportunity on factors related to military service, contact sports, traumatic brain injury, neuroinflammation and infectious agents.

    ATSDR is especially interested in innovative research applications that propose to conduct an epidemiological investigation using the ATSDR National ALS Registry and/or using a third party ALS registry on risk factors related to military service, contact sports, traumatic brain injury, neuroinflammation and infectious agents. Examples of ALS registry research previously funded by ATSDR can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/als/ALSExternalResearchfundedbyRegistry.html.

    Eligibility:

    Eligibility for RFA-TS-21-001 is open to both United States and Foreign Organization applicant institutions, as specified in RFA-TS-21-001.

    Second Level Review Considerations:

    • Consideration for meritorious applications proposing to identify and evaluate risk factors for ALS in the context of past military service, contact sports, traumatic brain injury, neuroinflammation and infectious agents.
    • Consideration for meritorious applications in which the contact Eligible PD/PI meets NIH Early Stage Investigator (ESI) status, as verified by the NIH Determination of Investigator Status process.

    Applicants are encouraged to carefully review all RFA-TS-21-001 requirements and contact Dr. Marci Wright (lxv8@cdc.gov) with questions regarding eligibility and the scientific intent of this funding opportunity.   

  • MDA Request for Applications: Drug Development in Neuromuscular Disease

    MDA Venture Philanthropy

    MDA Venture Philanthropy (MVP) is the Muscular Dystrophy Association's drug development program, which operates within MDA's Translational Research program. MVP is exclusively focused on funding the discovery and clinical application of treatments and cures for neuromuscular diseases.

    Adapting elements of the venture capital model, the MVP business plan is characterized by an emphasis on measurable results along with deep involvement by its scientific and industry advisers. MVP evaluates and makes targeted investments in for-profit and not-for-profit companies and academics developing therapeutics for neuromuscular diseases.

    Building upon MDA's long-term investment in research and health care, MVP is designed to complement MDA's ongoing programs of health care, lifesaving services, advocacy, basic and clinical research, and professional and public health information. MVP also benefits from MDA's other research programs that support basic research, clinical trials and research infrastructure.

    Business Plan

    A strategy for lowering barriers to therapeutic development: MVP leverages MDA's years of expertise in research into nerve and muscle biology to create a unique environment to foster translation of research into therapies. Dedicated staff scientists track research developments from MDA's basic research program and from the scientific community as a whole and match the most promising ideas with drug development companies capable of developing such therapies. Where companies have promising therapeutics, MVP helps match the company with disease experts to expedite and streamline development. Where academic projects need more data before they will be attractive to a corporate partner, MVP helps match the researcher with experts in drug development. As a "partner" and not just a funder, MVP will help to cultivate follow-on investors, while its access to patients, experts and research infrastructure can offset some costs of drug development.  

    Bridging the high-risk stages of therapy development: MVP makes targeted investments in projects for which the therapeutic of interest is unlikely to advance via traditional funding avenues due to the perceived risk of a small market, lack of a clear regulatory path or new technology. MVP funds are leveraged to aid getting projects through the critical stages of development to ensure that successful therapies attract funding from other sources and get to market. Co-investors and follow-on funders with complementary skills are cultivated actively in the form of venture capital groups, other nonprofits, and larger biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Exit points for MVP funding may include the situations in which 1) a therapeutic progresses to phase III or is approved; or 2) significant funding from follow-on investor(s) is received. Return on investment strategies for MVP may include revenue sharing from licensing agreements or commercialization of the therapeutic, or less commonly, sales of preferred stock.

    MVP uses elements of the venture capital model: MVP uses an iterative evaluation process that reviews the science, management, financials, legal issues and intellectual property of the company or project. MVP holds monthly teleconferences open to its advisers at which decisions to advance projects to the next stage of evaluation are made. In addition to the diverse qualifications of MVP's program staff, advisory committees and ad hoc scientific experts, MVP may utilize well-established outside contractors for formal financial and legal diligence. MVP manages its grants as if they were investments such that funding commitments are structured as milestone-driven contracts.

    A unique blend of staff, contractors and volunteers: MVP has access to a unique set of expertise that it uses to select projects to invest in and to manage those projects. The scientific advisers consist of experts in neuromuscular disease research, neuromuscular medicine, biotechnology venture capital investment and drug development. MVP staff scientists work with these volunteers to select projects with the best possible chance of success, and to act as advisers as those projects move forward. MVP uses its business advisers and outside contractors for legal and financial diligence and for contract negotiation, ensuring that MVP invests only in projects likely to have the greatest possible impact. The business advisers are volunteers with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, biotechnology investing, investment banking and corporate development.

    For information, visit the MDA website: https://www.mda.org/research/mda-venture-philanthropy