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NIH activates new funding vehicle for COVID-19 R&D, other measures seek more information

March 12, 2020

For the first time and in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) together with the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has activated the NIH Urgent Award mechanism. The targeted opportunity is intended to provide funds for NIH grantees applying to expand the scope of their active grant. Last month, NIAID and NIGMS published a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) “to highlight the urgent need for research on the 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). NIAID is particularly interested in projects focusing on viral natural history, pathogenicity, transmission, as well as projects developing medical countermeasures and suitable animal models for pre-clinical testing of vaccines and therapeutics against 2019-nCoV.”

NIAID is encouraging applications for Competitive Revisions to active grants to address areas of research including development of sensitive, specific and rapid clinical diagnostic tests for 2019-nCov and development of broad-spectrum therapeutics against multiple coronavirus strains, while NIGMS is interested in incorporating data related to the virus into ongoing research efforts to develop predictive models for the spread of Coronaviruses and related pathogens. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through Feb. 6, 2021.

In other efforts to fight the virus, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has updated a broad agency announcement (BAA) to focus specifically on products to diagnose, prevent or treat coronavirus infections. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), issued the BAA, BAA-18-100-SOL-00003-Amendment 13, to solicit proposals for advanced development and licensure of COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines, or medicines such as therapeutics or antivirals.

HHS also reports that the U.S. government is interested in obtaining information about any potential products in development in the private sector that could be used in responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak, and has launched a single point-of-entry website for innovators and product developers to submit brief descriptions of their diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and other products or technologies being developed for COVID-19.

coronavirus, funding, nih