NIH – Academic-Industrial Partnerships to Translate and Validate in vivo Cancer Imaging Systems (R01)

December 27, 2016 by School of Medicine Webmaster

This new FOA specifies a partnership structure intended to help translate imaging and spectroscopic technologies by bridging gaps in investigator knowledge and experience through a combination of special strengths among academic, industrial, and other investigators working together to plan, design, and engineer an effective transition of a new method or technology from a working prototype to a status suitable for careful validation. The scientific rationale for the translational scope of this FOA is to address the rapidly evolving requirements to move relevant and advanced imaging technologies and methods into pre-clinical and clinical, as well as non-clinical research settings. One example would be to bring better understanding of the rigor in medical industry’s use of good laboratory practices (GLP) and good manufacturing practices (GMP) to the academic setting, which could later facilitate more efficient transfer of academic intellectual property to the commercial setting. The rationale for the translational scope of this FOA is to adapt relevant imaging technologies and methods to address rapidly evolving needs in pre-clinical, clinical, and non-clinical research settings. This FOA is designed to stimulate academic-industrial partnerships to overcome translational research barriers up to the point of pre-commercial production, but specifically does not support commercial production.

Specific Research Objectives and Scope

This announcement applies to discoveries and engineering development results that have demonstrated feasibility and are ready to be adapted, optimized, and validated. The applicants are expected to identify and address a problem in cancer.

The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) focus is on translation of imaging and spectroscopy systems and methods that represent advances with promise for addressing unmet needs in cancer. These can be found in areas such as clinical research, cancer prevention, biology, development, screening, early detection, diagnosis, therapy monitoring, risk assessment for individuals or populations, and cancer outcomes.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases’ (NIDDK) focus is on detection, early diagnosis, quantification, or progressions of preconditions that may result in cancer, such as pancreatic ductal lesions, pancreatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis, among other possibilities.

Academic-Industrial Partnership (AIP) and Translational Research

The academic-industrial partnership application should propose a coherent translational research strategy for the proposed technology that addresses a cancer objective.

Technology translation to solve a cancer problem may focus on clinical research, clinical care delivery, or non-clinical cancer research.

Imaging and imaging related technology for non-human cancer research is supportable by this funding opportunity whether or not it appears to have future prospects of direct clinical use.

An objective may include single or multi-modal combinations, guided interventions, drug or therapy delivery, or analysis. Translational efforts are expected to enhance, adapt, optimize, validate, and transition a prior, currently existing, or next generation prototype technology or method.

Technological improvements may focus on reproducibility, reliability, rapidity, ease of use, and/or affordability. The applications may include but are not limited to:

  • Quality assurance
  • Calibration and software applications
  • Quality control procedures and parameters
  • Management of reproducibility and error propagation
  • Quantification methods
  • Validation and correlation studies
  • Optimizations across different commercial imaging platforms and/or sites
  • Use in high, middle, or low resource settings

Partnership Structure

The intent of the FOA is to encourage investigators to assemble a team with strengths and resources sufficient to achieve the proposed translational goals. Therefore, a pre-requisite application feature is formation of a team that includes at least one academic investigator and one investigator from an industrial organization among key team members. The level of participation and budget details are expected to vary among the partners as necessary to achieve the specific aims proposed. Investigator partnerships have the discretion to set effort levels and apportion budget according to the timing and other project requirements at each research step.

Innovation at conception grows as it gains functionality and readiness to deliver a new capability to end users. For this announcement, innovation is defined as likelihood to deliver a new capability to end-users.

Deadlines:  March 1, 2017; June 7, 2017; October 3, 2017; March 1, 2018; June 7, 2018; October 3, 2018; March 1, 2019; June 7, 2019; October 3, 2019.


Filed Under: Funding Opportunities