The FDA Has Provided 16 Million Dollars to Scientists to Continue Rare Disease Research During the Pandemic

 The United States FDA has just announced that they will be providing  6 new grants, which are worth 16 million dollars for rare disease research. These grants will last a total of 4 years, and they will go directly to clinical trials for therapies which have been awarded the Orphan Drug Designation. These grants are not new, but in the time of COVID-19 they especially valuable. Many are suffering from insufficient funds in this time. These grants are allowing researchers to continue essential research for rare diseases amidst the pandemic.

The 2020 Grants

47 applications were submitted to the FDA for these grants by 90 researchers studying rare disease. Ultimately, six grants were awarded. The recipients are discussed below.

  • Acucela Inc
    • This organization is conducting a Phase 3 clinical trial for Stargardt disease. The therapy being investigated is called emixustat hydrochloride. The team has been provided 1.6 million dollars over the next 3 years.
  • Fred Hutchinson
    • This cancer research center is working on a Phase 2 trial  for graft versus host disease, examining an investigative therapy called ustekinumab which they believe could prevent the condition. This grant will allot 3.5 million dollars to the team over the next 4 years.
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital
    • This hospital is examining gallium nitrate, by IV, as a therapy for cystic fibrosis patients who are facing nontuberculosis mycobacterium. The team has been given 3 million dollars which will be awarded over the next 4 years.
  • State University of New York in Stony Brook
    • This university is conducting a Phase 1 study for those diagnosed with CD4 positive T cell neoplasms. The therapy is a T cell therapy. This team has been awarded 3.1 million dollars over the next 4 years.
  • University of Cincinnati
    • This university is investigating ABTL0812 as a therapy for pancreatic cancer. It is a Phase 1/2 study and the team will be given 1.9 million dollars over the next 4 years. 
  • University of Virginia
    • This university is investigating peripheral T cell lymphoma. They are conducting a Phase 2 study investigating azacytidine in addition to romidepsin. This team has been given 3.2 million dollars over the next 4 years.

You can read more about these research projects here.

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