Cures Acceleration Network

The Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) was authorized (PDF - 133KB) to advance the development of high-need cures and reduce significant barriers between research discovery and clinical trials. To achieve these objectives, CAN gives NCATS new flexibilities in its funding authorities.

Under CAN, NCATS may make large grant awards of up to $15 million per fiscal year, partnership awards that require 1:3 matching funds, and flexible research awards using the special funding mechanism called other transactions (OT), which allows projects to be actively and aggressively managed by using mechanisms similar to those used by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the U.S. Department of Defense. CAN investments are guided by the CAN Review Board (CAN RB). Launched in 2019, the CAN RB Real-World Applications for Mature Programs working group is developing recommendations to the CAN RB on real-world use and practice of mature CAN programs.

At NCATS, CAN funds a variety of initiatives designed to address scientific and technical challenges that slow down translational research, based on available funds each fiscal year. CAN currently is supporting projects through the Tissue Chip for Drug ScreeningBiomedical Data Translator and 3-D Tissue Bioprinting programs.

2012 CAN Workshop

As requested by Congress, NCATS contracted with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2012 to host a two-day workshop focused on discussion of the funding authorities provided to NCATS under CAN. “Maximizing the Goals of the Cures Acceleration Network to Accelerate the Development of New Drugs and Diagnostics: A Workshop” took place June 4–5, 2012. Review the workshop summary (PDF - 601KB) or visit the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) website for more information about this event.