The National Institutes of Health has launched three innovative projects that will focus on development of therapeutics for Fragile X syndrome, nicotine addiction, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These projects are funded through the NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network which provides access to a variety of drug development resources.
“We are excited about the opportunity to apply cutting-edge science to the pursuit of novel treatments for these debilitating disorders” said Rebecca Farkas, Ph.D., program director at NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), Office of Translational Research.
The purpose of the NIH Blueprint is to provide in-depth research capabilities to increase the success rate of innovative drug discovery efforts. The program uses a virtual pharma model to provide researchers with access to support and resources that have been traditionally available to large pharmaceutical companies.
Partnerships between NIH program staff and awarded research teams are designed to bridge the funding gap between ground-breaking laboratory research and industry adoption. NIH staff helps investigators work with veteran industry drug development consultants and contract research organization capabilities from the discovery stage through preliminary clinical trials. In addition, each investigator maintains sole ownership of intellectual property associated with his or her project.