Sunday, March 4, 2012

NIH Funding Alzheimer's

In February 2012, Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius announced that $50 million would be directed immediately to boost NIH Alzheimer’s research. In partial response, NIH on February 29th posted a funding announcement soliciting SBIR applications from small businesses to advance research in Alzheimer’s disease. Some of the research needs include bio-nanotechnologies, devices, biomarkers, tools, new technologies for in home use, rehabilitative strategies and devices, and disease registries.

Listed are some of the areas of research of interest to specific NIH Institutes:

• National Heart Lung Blood Institute—Develop devices to help measure sleep heath and circadian timing so that disturbed sleep and “sundowning” can be identified. These are two common preclinical signs associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It is hoped that computational models can be generated based on those measures.

• National Institute on Aging—Develop manuals and training materials for community-based agencies and healthcare organizations to help reduce the burden for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers. Also, NIA is looking to develop a tool to enable Medicare Advantage managed care plans to accurately project future costs of caring for patients with dementia

• National Institute of Child Health and Human Development—Develop rehabilitative strategies and devices for people with mild cognitive impairment and/or Alzheimer’s disease to help individuals navigate and function independently

• National Institute of Environmental Sciences—Develop disease registries of Alzheimer’s patients that can be used for exposure reconstruction

NIH intends to commit $2 million to the funding for the SBIR announcement titled “Small Business Alzheimer’s Disease Research Grant for Phase I and Phase II and Fast Track Program”. According to statutory guidelines, total funding support normally may not exceed $150,000 for Phase I awards and $1,000,000 for Phase II awards.

To be eligible, small businesses must be organized for profit, located in the U.S., not have more than 500 employees, and must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens.

The Letter of Intent is due March 30, 2012 with the application due April 30, 2012. For more information, go to