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What is NCATS?

Occasionally, we work with companies that have a medical or health related technology that doesn’t exactly fit into one of the more well-defined areas, like cancer research or diabetes treatment.  Their technology might be more general, or there might be several different applications or indications where it would be useful and commercializable. So if it is clearly a health related technology that may or may not need clinical trials, it probably is a fit for the National Institutes of Health; but which institute?  One possibility is the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).  This particular group generally is tasked with funding the process of turning scientific observations into interventions to improve health.  Just what does that mean?

NCATS funds a variety of programs that are less specific than addressing particular diseases. It focuses on processes to get new treatments to patients rapidly or technologies that have broad application in any stage of development from academic observations to actual implementation in the public.  

NCATS may fund projects that explore;

  • New uses for existing drugs
  • Projects around telehealth that are broadly useful for general healthcare
  • Some rare disease therapies
  • Technologies for high throughput screening
  • Ways to improve access, searching and analysis of health related databases
  • Methods that improve efficiency in human subjects recruitment and research

It is not unusual for us to be working with a client that clearly has an NIH type technology that can be used in a number of research places.  We often suggest they reach out to NCATS as a possible funding institute.

If you have an idea for a way to rapidly identify drug targets, or a software program to perform dose-response modeling; or delivery of CRISPR therapeutics; NCATS funding could be in your future.

One caveat, though, for NCATS the recent omnibus topic solicitation is that they have not accepted projects that propose clinical trials.

Want to learn more about funding agencies that may fit your tech?  Contact CTC for our always free consulting sessions or attend our April 17th event Meet the Funders: Translational Research and Cancer Funding Leaders featuring Program director Dr. Kory Hallett and NCATS Director of Strategic Alliances, Lilli Portilla.