NCATS matches academic research groups with selected assets from industry, as part of the New Therapeutic Uses program’s NIH-Industry Partnerships initiative. The goal is to use molecules that have already undergone significant research and development by pharmaceutical companies to more quickly advance new treatments for patients.
Awarded projects support pre-clinical validation studies, clinical feasibility studies or proof-of-concept clinical trials to test whether the selected assets may be effective against a previously unexplored disease.
In November 2015, NCATS issued a funding opportunity to support rigorous, pre-clinical research studies that establish a rationale for a clinical trial using a published or publicly available method for identifying new indications for existing drug or licensed biologic that has been in at least a phase I trial.
In August 2016, NCATS announced a funding opportunity to explore a potential new use of an existing investigational therapy, Food and Drug Administration-approved drug, or licensed biologic. Through the Bench-to-Clinic Repurposing initiative, NCATS will support pre-clinical studies to test the utility of an independent crowdsourcing effort, computational algorithm, or big dataset from patient records to predict new uses of a drug or biologic.