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Q&A with Sonal Das, PhD, About Funding Research in Drug Development

Posted by  Nate Herpich, August 07, 2012

Q&A with Sonal Das, PhD, About Funding Research in Drug Development

MJFF’s Therapeutic Pipeline Program will award $10 million to academic and/or industry investigators

This summer, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) launched a new program for researchers from academia and industry, called the Therapeutic Pipeline Program (TPP).  Open to both industry and academic investigators, TPP seeks to support research projects focused on developing therapies for PD at both pre-clinical and clinical stages. MJFF is committing up to $10 million to this program this year and the deadline for applications to this program is September 12, 2012.

In this Q&A session, Sonal Das, PhD, associate director of research programs at MJFF, explains more about the rationale behind the program, as well as who can apply.  Below, check out some excerpts, or read the entire conversation.

MJFF: Why the Therapeutic Pipeline Program?

Sonal Das: The Therapeutic Pipeline Program supports PD drug development at various stages along the pipeline; from early stage pre-clinical laboratory work to early stage clinical trials. By identifying roadblocks along the way, and sharing the risk of drug development with researchers from academia and industry, we hope to keep promising research moving forward along this pipeline.

The new program asks researchers to think holistically about this entire process.  By evaluating all the pieces that may be needed to drive a project, and conveying this to us in the application stage, our applicants and grantees can also help us as a Foundation to better understand what we can do to assist in the effort.

MJFF:  Who can apply to the program, and must research begin at a specific stage of development?

Sonal Das: Proposals can be pre-clinical or clinical in nature.  They can center around small molecule drug candidates, but MJFF is also open to proposals that investigate all therapeutic development (including gene therapy, surgical intervention, and device development).  Proposals may focus on targets that are new to PD, or candidates for repositioning drugs already approved by the FDA for another indication.  They can come from academic or industry teams.

Again, what’s most interesting to us is that these proposals show a clear plan for how to move forward along each of the various steps necessary to bring the therapeutic closer to market.

TAGS: Research Field News, Therapeutic Development, Research Partnerships, Research Grants, Research News, Education, About the Foundation






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