The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications for the Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Research Centers of Excellence.
The mission of the NIH CounterACT program is to foster and support research and development of new and improved therapeutics for chemical threats. Chemical threats are toxic chemicals that could be used in a terrorist attack or accidentally released from industrial production, storage or shipping. They include traditional chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and pesticides.
The scope of supported research includes target and candidate identification and characterization, through candidate optimization and demonstration of in vivo efficacy, through Investigational New Drug (IND)-enabling studies required for advanced development.
The Centers will contain at least three research projects supported by administrative and scientific cores, and a research education core. To ensure that the supported research is consistent with the overall goals of the program, CounterACT Research Centers of Excellence are milestone-driven cooperative agreements with substantial scientific and programmatic involvement by NIH staff.
Research on antidotes that are specific to a chemical will be considered; however, applicants should also consider research on acute effects and pathologies that are common to several chemical threat agents, so that the therapeutics being developed will have a broader spectrum of activity against more than one chemical.
NIH intends to fund an estimate of 2-4 awards, corresponding to a total of $7-9 million, for fiscal year 2016. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.
Further details are available via Funding Opportunity Announcement: PAR-15-146. Applications are due September 15, 2015; September 13, 2016; and September 12, 2017.