Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biologics & Bioprocessing
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

NIH Program Bridges Gap to Develop New Therapeutics

Published: Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Bookmark and Share
New projects advance treatments for acute radiation syndrome, brain injury from cardiac arrest and a rare blood disorder.

The National Institutes of Health has launched three pre-clinical projects to advance potential new treatments for acute radiation syndrome, brain injury following cardiac arrest and a rare blood disorder called beta thalassemia.

The projects are part of the Bridging Interventional Development Gaps (BrIDGs) program, which is funded by the NIH Common Fund and led by NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

BrIDGs provides eligible scientists with no-cost access to contractor services, such as toxicology studies, for pre-clinical therapeutic development. To be eligible for the program, projects must have been effective in a disease model.

Researchers often apply to BrIDGs because they have hit a roadblock and need additional expertise or lack other resources. Rather than funding successful applicants directly, BrIDGs supports expert NIH contractors who perform pre-clinical services for the researchers free-of-charge.

"BrIDGs researchers and partner scientists work together to bridge the gap between a basic discovery and clinical testing, thereby ensuring potential treatments have a chance to reach patients who need them," said Christopher P. Austin, M.D., NCATS director.

A primary goal of a BrIDGs project is the submission of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin human clinical trials. To date, BrIDGs scientists have generated data to support 12 INDs submitted to the FDA, as well as one clinical trial application to Health Canada. They also have evaluated 12 of the 13 projects in clinical trials.

Three BrIDGs-supported therapeutic agents have gone as far as Phase II clinical trials, in which researchers provide an experimental therapy to a group of patients to evaluate its safety and effectiveness. Third-party investors have licensed seven compounds during or after their development through the BrIDGs program.

BrIDGs scientists selected the following new projects from the 2013 application solicitation:

Acute Radiation Syndrome
Manufacturing of RLIP76-LyoPL for Acute Radiation Syndrome Henry Hebel, M.B.A., vice president of drug development Terapio Corp., Austin, Texas

Exposure to radiation, whether from a compromised nuclear reactor or a radiation weapon, can lead to acute radiation syndrome, a life-threatening multi-organ illness. Currently, there is no FDA-approved treatment for the syndrome. This project is designed to develop a treatment that can be administered beginning 24 hours or longer after radiation exposure. NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is co-funding the pre-clinical studies for this project through its Radiation Nuclear Countermeasures Program.

Beta Thalassemia
The Development of Minihepcidins for the Treatment of Beta Thalassemia Brian MacDonald, Ph.D., president and CEO Merganser Biotech LLC, Newtown Square, Pa.

Patients with beta thalassemia, a rare inherited blood disorder, suffer from severe anemia and iron overload that can damage the heart. The disorder reduces production of hepcidin, the iron regulatory hormone. The goal of this project is to develop a treatment that increases levels of hepcidin and lowers the damaging effects of too much iron. NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is co-funding this project.

Cardiac Arrest-Induced Acute Brain Injury
HBN-1 Regulated Hypothermia Formulation and Evaluation of Toxicity Laurence Katz, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Patients resuscitated from cardiac arrest can suffer from acute brain injury. Lowering a patient's body temperature into therapeutic-induced hypothermia can improve survival with good neurological outcomes in more than half of patients who remain in a coma after cardiac arrest. This project is designed to develop HBN-1 as an intravenous treatment that paramedics can give to cardiac arrest patients to induce hypothermia sooner. The NIH Common Fund is funding the pre-clinical studies for this project.

"Although each project is selected for its scientific merit, not all projects will lead to treatments because the pre-clinical phase of drug development is fraught with failures related to issues such as adverse side effects," said John McKew, Ph.D., acting director of NCATS' Division of Pre-clinical Innovation and chief of the Therapeutics Development Branch. "Still, the support that BrIDGs provides gives each project a fighting chance."

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Molecule Proves Key to Brain Repair After Stroke
Scientists found that a molecule known as growth and differentiation factor 10 (GDF10) plays a key role in repair mechanisms following stroke.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
NIH Announces High-Risk, High-Reward Research Awardees
NIH to fund 78 awards to support highly innovative biomedical research.
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
NIH Launches Human RSV Study
Study aims to understand infection in healthy adults to aid development of RSV medicines, vaccines.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Large Percentage of Youth with HIV May Lack Immunity to Measles, Mumps, Rubella
NIH study finds those vaccinated before starting modern HIV therapy may be at risk.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
NIH-funded Vaccine for West Nile Virus Enters Human Clinical Trials
Enrollment is expected to be completed by December 2015.
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Douglas Lowy Named Acting Director of the National Cancer Institute
Lowy’s research includes the biology of papillomaviruses and the regulation of normal and neoplastic growth.
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Safe, Prompts Immune Response
Results from US government-sponsored phase 1 trial of VSV vaccine reported.
Thursday, April 02, 2015
Ebola Test Vaccines Appear Safe in Phase 2 Liberian Clinical Trial
Liberia-U.S. partnership planning Phase 3 trial and study of Ebola survivors.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Strengthening the Immune System’s Fight Against Brain Cancer
NIH-funded research suggests novel way to improve vaccine efficacy in brain tumors.
Friday, March 20, 2015
NIH-Sponsored HIV Vaccine Trial Launches In South Africa
Early-stage trial aims to build on RV144 results.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Ebola Vaccine Trial Opens in Liberia
Study led by Liberia-NIH partnership will test two experimental vaccines.
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
NIAID/GSK Experimental Ebola Vaccine Appears Safe, Prompts Immune Response
Results from NIH Phase 1 clinical trial support accelerated development of candidate vaccine.
Friday, November 28, 2014
NIH Begins Early Human Clinical Trial of VSV Ebola Vaccine
Human testing of a second investigational Ebola vaccine candidate is under way at the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Candidate H7N9 Avian Flu Vaccine Works Better With Adjuvant
Results of large NIH-sponsored trial demonstrate improved vaccine response when an adjuvant was used.
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
NIH Awards Seven New Vaccine Adjuvant Discovery Contracts
Total funding for these contracts reach approximately $70 million over five years.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Scientific News
"Good" Mozzie Virus Might Hold Key to Fighting Human Disease
Australian scientists have discovered a new virus carried by one of the country’s most common pest mosquitoes.
World’s First Therapeutic Venom Database
Open-source library describes nearly 43,000 effects on the human body.
Speeding Up the Process of Making Vaccines
System uses a freeze-dry concept to develop "just-add-water" solution.
Surprising Trait Found in Anti-HIV Antibodies
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have new weapons in the fight against HIV.
New Method Identifies Up to Twice as Many Proteins and Peptides
An international team of researchers developed a method that identifies up to twice as many proteins and peptides in mass spectrometry data than conventional approaches.
The Do’s and Don’ts of SPR Experiments
Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) is a technique that is becoming more widely used, particularly by anyone who wants to obtain accurate on (association) and off (dissociation) rates for biomolecular binding.
Genetically Engineering Algae to Kill Cancer Cells
New interdisciplinary research has revealed the frontline role tiny algae could play in the battle against cancer, through the innovative use of nanotechnology.
Novel Stem Cell Line Avoids Risk of Introducing Transplanted Tumors
Progenitor cells might eventually be used to repair or rebuild damaged or destroyed organs.
Single Vaccine for Chikungunya, Related Viruses May be Possible
What if a single vaccine could protect people from infection by many different viruses? That concept is a step closer to reality.
Blocking the Transmission Of Malaria Parasites
Vaccine candidate administered for the first time in humans in a phase I clinical trial led by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, with partners Imaxio and GSK.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos