NIH Initiative Gains Five New Companies

Jun 11, 2012

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have gained the participation of Abbott, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceutical Research & Development, and Sanofi in their effort to advance new therapeutic research.

In May 2102, NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) launched the Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules Program. The program is a collaboration between NIH and industry to match researchers with compounds that have already cleared the development process to test for new therapeutic uses. Participating companies will provide compounds and data determined to meet specific NIH eligibility criteria. Compound preliminary information is available on the NCATS website.

"Each company participating in this innovative collaboration has made substantial research and development investments to advance these compounds to the point where they can be used in clinical studies," states Kathy L. Hudson, NCATS acting deputy director, in a NIH press release. "If researchers funded through this effort can demonstrate new uses for the compounds, they could significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to get a treatment to patients in need."

NCATS plans to provide up to $20 million in fiscal year 2013 to fund cooperative research grants. The NIH press release states that researchers who meet specific milestones will “conduct preclinical validation and clinical feasibility studies in the first stage, and proof-of-concept clinical trials in the second stage, to test whether one of the compounds may be effective against a previously unexplored disease target.”

Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Eli Lilly have already signed on to the program.