In 2013, the NIH Common Fund awarded approximately $130 million over six years to scientists nationwide for projects to improve our understanding of exRNA communication. NIH funded 30 multidisciplinary research projects that address a number of critical scientific areas:
- exRNA biogenesis, biodistribution, uptake and effector function — how cells make and release exRNA, how and where exRNAs travel through body fluids to other cells, how the cells take in these exRNA molecules, and how exRNAs change cell function.
- Reference profiles — to generate a catalogue of exRNA from a diverse range of healthy human body fluids.
- Biomarker development — how exRNAs from human body fluids might help scientists diagnose and monitor disease progression and response to therapy.
- Therapy development — how exRNAs might be used as therapeutic agents.
- Data management — how to develop a community-wide resource for exRNA standards, protocols and data.
NCATS administered and provided scientific oversight to 18 of the 30 projects, which focused on the development of biomarkers from exRNA found in body fluids and the design of new ways to use exRNA in treatments.
Learn more about the Phase 1 ExRNA Communication projects from the NIH Common Fund.
In 2019, Phase 2 of the ExRNA Communication program began when the NIH Common Fund made a new set of 13 awards focused on developing tools, technologies and methods to better understand the extracellular vesicles (EVs) that carry exRNA and other molecular cargo throughout the body.
NCATS is administering and providing scientific oversight for six of these projects.
There are no open funding opportunities at this time.
- RFA-OD-20-018: Emergency Awards: Exosome-based Non-traditional Technologies Towards Multi-Parametric and Integrated Approaches for SARS-CoV-2 (U18 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). This emergency FOA provided an expedited funding mechanism as part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Radical (RADx-rad) initiative.
- RFA-RM-18-028: Advancing Extracellular RNA (exRNA) Communication Research: Towards Single Extracellular Vesicle (EV) Sorting, Isolation, and Analysis of Cargo (UG3/UH3 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- RFA-RM-18-027: Advancing Extracellular RNA (exRNA) Communication Research: Improved Isolation and Analysis of exRNA-Carrier Subclasses (UG3/UH3 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- RFA-RM-18-026: Limited Competition: Data Management and Resource Repository (DMRR) on Extracellular RNA (U54 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- RFA-RM-12-010: Data Management and Resource Repository (DMRR) on Extracellular RNA (U54)
- RFA-RM-12-012: Extracellular RNA Biogenesis, Biodistribution, Uptake, and Effector Function (U19)
- RFA-RM-12-013: Clinical Utility of Extracellular RNA for Biomarker Development (UH2/UH3)
- RFA-RM-12-014: Clinical Utility of Extracellular RNA for Therapy Development (UH2/UH3)
- RFA-RM-13-014: Defining A Comprehensive Reference Profile of Circulating Human Extracellular RNA (U01)