The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), is pleased to announce an intent to publish a funding opportunity announcement for basic scientists, including those residing outside of the USA. This unique program aims to expand the range of drug targets and mechanisms for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) therapies. NIDA plans to issue 50 awards that will include the funding to conduct the research in investigators’ own labs with the in-kind access to drug discovery and development expertise, business strategy and partnering support, and assistance with the company/startup formation.

The projects eligible for this funding could focus on:

  • Validation of targets for SUD treatments;
  • Experiments to assure data robustness (for example, reproducing key (including published) in vitro and in vivo findings in at least 2 duplicate studies using the same materials, doses, readouts, etc.);
  • Determination of criteria for hit designation;
  • Determination of approach for hit-to-lead discovery;
  • Developing target-specific screening paradigms and decision trees;
  • Development and validation of in vitro and in vivo assays;
  • General mechanism of action (MOA) and selectivity testing;
  • Composing drug product concepts (e.g., Target Product Profile);
  • Compound screening (including FDA-approved drugs for other indications, drugs approved outside of USA, etc.) to yield hits and leads;
  • Business case preparation work;
  • Experiments to strengthen intellectual property (IP) positions.

NIDA will offer three WebEx seminars to assist with NIH grant writing processes and policies, and to describe the objectives of the initiative in greater detail.