NCATS request for information- NIH-Industry Pilot Program Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules

Yesterday I received the following email from NCATS (probably along with thousands of others).

Dear Colleagues:

This morning, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced $12.7 million in awards to match nine academic research groups with a selection of pharmaceutical industry compounds to explore new treatments for patients in eight disease areas, including Alzheimer’s disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and schizophrenia.

This collaborative pilot initiative, called Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules, is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and funded by the NIH Common Fund. Scientific expertise will be provided by seven other NIH Institutes and Centers, including the National Cancer Institute; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institute on Aging; National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institute of Mental Health; and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

We invite you to learn more in today’s news release: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jun2013/ncats-18.htm, and via the links below:


NCATS Information Officer

I decided based on all the posts and our work on finding structures with Chris Southan and Antony Williams, that it would be a good idea to respond.

Here is what I sent along which is short and to the point – the posts on this blog have said it all IMHO.


Request for Information (RFI): Input on Administration of the NIH-Industry Pilot Program Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules
Thank You – Your Comments Have Been Received. You may want to print this page with your comments for your records.
06/18/2013 at 01:51:22 PM


Sean Ekins

Email Address:


Name of Organization:

Collaborations in Chemistry

City and State:

Fuquay Varina, NC

Please identify the nature of your interest in the area.:

[e.g., whether you are a biomedical or clinical researcher, a pharmaceutical company interested in participating in this initiative, a member of an advocacy or community group, or other (please indicate)?]

Scientist with an interest in data quality, transparency, computational drug repurposing and supporter / researcher for rare and neglected diseases.

Comment 1:

Reasons why your institution would be interested in submitting a pre-application but not participate.

Not an employee of an academic institute.

Comment 2:

The amount of public information that was posted for the available Agents in terms of the utility of the information for proposing studies for new therapeutic uses.

Comment 3:

Inclusion or absence of target classes represented by the 58 available Agents.

No Response

Comment 4:

NIH used a peer review process to determine the scientific merit of the X02 pre-applications.  Pharmaceutical partners were not involved in the review process. Comments can include the perceived advantages/disadvantages of this approach, how pharmaceutical partners might participate in the future and considerations that should be given if NIH allows the pharmaceutical partners to review the pre-applications.

Well if you are going to fund the research these pharmaceutical companies should have done themselves then why not include them in the process? They should have far more experience in drug discovery / development than the academics.

Comment 5:

If you were an X02 applicant and put in contact with a pharmaceutical company by NCATS to discuss your application, feel free to comment on the feedback you received from the company.

No Response

Comment 6:

Any institutional challenges with getting CDAs and CRAs in place and the perceived value of the template agreements.

No Response

Comment 7:

Your level of interest in responding to an FOA for Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules in the future.

No Response

Comment 8:

Your level of interest in being a pharmaceutical partner in the future.

No Response

Comment 9:

If you have additional comments or feedback that was not addressed previously, include it here.

I have said all I have to say on the links listed above in comment #2.


paper describing some of the structures of the molecules that you did not post on the website – NCATS DDT structure paper.pdf



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