Grants will back promising research with little preliminary data through to clinical testing.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) will commit up to $12 million in 2011 funding for research toward treatments and a cure for Parkinson disease (PD). Funding is open to academic and industry researchers through the foundation’s Pipeline Programs, which consist of three annually recurring initiatives, known collectively as The Edmond J. Safra Core Programs for PD Research as well as the industry-exclusive Therapeutics Development Initiative.

The Foundation seeks investigator-initiated proposals focused on various critical points along the translational pathway to new therapies for PD. It will support testing of novel hypotheses through the Rapid Response Innovation awards that provide up to $75,000 for one-year high-risk, high-reward projects with little to no existing preliminary data but a potential to significantly impact our understanding or treatment of PD.

It will also back the validation of novel targets through Target Validation grants, which offer $250,000 for up to two years to validate the therapeutic potential of scientific discoveries and push them one step closer to the clinic. The Therapeutics Development Initiative seeks to stimulate work for up to two years at for-profit institutions, while the Clinical Intervention awards drive clinical trials of up to three years.

“The Pipeline Programs are a core element of our foundation’s efforts to drive research that will speed therapeutic development at historically underfunded points on the pipeline,” says Todd Sherer, the foundation’s acting CEO. “The programs are part of MJFF’s progressive work to keep the most promising and significant projects moving forward toward notably improving quality of life for patients now and in the future.”

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