NIH Announces Funding for New Technologies for Viral Hepatitis

Content From: Corinna Dan, R.N., M.P.H., Viral Hepatitis Policy Advisor, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesPublished: January 23, 20152 min read


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to encourage small businesses to address viral hepatitis research opportunities delineated in the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis (Action Plan) . The announcement of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant entitled New Technologies for Viral Hepatitis SBIR (R43/R44) is supported by 3 participating institutes: the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

The FOA “encourages small business establishments to submit applications that address any of the specific research topics in the updated Action Plan for the Prevention, Care & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis that are assigned to the NIH and germane to the research mission of the respective NIH Institutes and Centers, in order to facilitate the development, evaluation, and validation of products that would be implemented in the public health efforts to reduce the burden of viral hepatitis in the United States.” Research objectives and strategies from the Action Plan that are relevant to this FOA include (but are not limited to) the development of: rapid screening tests, new diagnostic tests, tests for viral hepatitis-related complications, practical models of care, new and improved therapies to treat viral hepatitis or manage complications of disease or antiviral treatment, genetic-based tests for patient management or treatment selection, preventive vaccines, innovative approaches to pathogen identification and reduction in blood products.

Eligible applications include: new applications (Phase I, Fast-Track), renewals (Phase II), resubmissions (all phases), Phase IIB competing renewals, and revisions. Award amounts and durations are limited to 6 months and $150,000 for Phase I grants, and 2 years and $1,000,000 for Phase II grants. This FOA will be open for submissions beginning March 5, 2015.

“The important role the research community plays in improving our national response to viral hepatitis is clear throughout the Action Plan’s many references to areas of research priority and detailing of specific research activities,” observed Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases. Indeed, the Action Plan specifically sets forth as an objective advancresearch to facilitate viral hepatitis prevention and enhance care and treatment for infected persons. “We are grateful that the NIH has created this opportunity within the small business community to stimulate research innovation related to viral hepatitis,” Dr. Valdiserri added.