New award structure will fund projects through multiple development stages.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) launched its Therapeutic Pipeline Program funding initiative as part of the $14 million Edmond J. Safra Core Programs for PD Research, which is MJFF’s annual funding initiative designed to support research that will speed the development of new Parkinson disease treatments.

Calls for research are being made under three categories of the Edmond J. Safra program: the Therapeutic Pipeline Program; the Rapid Response Innovation Awards, which is focused on breakthrough ideas; and Target Validation, which supports testing biological candidates with potential as new Parkinson disease therapeutics. The Therapeutic Pipeline Program integrates three previous MJFF funding proposals: Therapeutics Development, Clinical Intervention Awards, and Repositioning of Drugs for PD.

“We’re aiming to cut even more red tape out of our application procedures by allowing successful projects to continue through multiple phases of of the drug development process without needing to pause and reapply for funding at every stage of the pipeline,” explains Sonal Das, Ph.D., associate director of research programs at MJFF.

Initial applications through the Target Validation and Therapeutic Pipeline Program awards are due in September, with funding anticipated early in 2013. Rapid Response Innovation Awards proposals are accepted on a rolling basis, and decisions on funding are made within six weeks. The Foundtion prioritizes research geared towards disease-modifying treatments with potential to significantly help address the disabling motor and nonmotor symptoms of PD. 

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