The Drug Discovery and Device Development Program represents a collaboration among the CCTS, the UAB School of Medicine, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance (ADDA). It currently has several projects underway at different stages of development ranging from assay development and validation, high-throughput screening (HTS), lead identification and development, and a Phase I clinical trial.

The program also supports an annual Drug Discovery Research Award--projects are identified on a competitive basis in a two-stage application process overseen by ADDA. Funding typically involves at least two partners, including CCTS and Southern Research, a not-for-profit institution with an internationally recognized track record in drug discovery and development. Eligibility for the award has been for scientists affiliated with UAB or Southern Research. Efforts are underway to explore how CCTS partner institutions can work together with Southern Research to initiate similar research initiatives and high throughput screening campaigns for novel targets of interest.

Drug Discovery Research Award

The ADDA is no longer accepting pre-proposals for its Pilot Grants in Drug Discovery and Development. The 2-page pre-proposals were due Thursday, November 2, 2017, by 12:00 noon. All UAB and Southern Research investigators are eligible to apply, regardless of rank. Complete eligibility and pre-proposal instructions are available here.

Grants are for $50,000 per year for 2 years, with the second year of funding dependent on progress made in the first year. Funds can be utilized for various aspects of drug discovery and development for any human disease, including - but not limited to - assay development for high-throughput screening (HST), molecular modeling and medicinal chemistry efforts, or proof of concept studies in animals with newly discovered lead molecules. Only small molecule-directed efforts are eligible for funding at this time. 

Upon funding, a multidisciplinary team is assembled, consisting of members with relevant expertise, including cell biology, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, HTS assay development as well as clinical knowledge. This team, which meets quarterly, helps create a compound progression pathway and guide the project through the drug discovery and development pipeline.

In addition to scientific merit, applications are evaluated for intellectual property and commercialization aspects, in collaboration with the UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Southern Research.

Click here to view previous drug discovery research awardees

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