Stanford University’s Innovative Medicines Accelerator (IMA) aims to accelerate the prototyping of innovative medicines and enable hypothesis-driven studies on human subjects. ChEM-H is assisting the IMA to launch a pair of calls for proposals to leverage emerging capacity and infrastructure at Stanford to address the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In late December, the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Wuhan, China. In January, Benjamin Pinsky, MD, PhD, and his team in Stanford’s clinical virology lab began working on a new test to detect viral RNA in nose swabs. When the FDA announced it was relaxing restrictions on diagnostic tests for COVID-19 at the end of February, Pinsky and his team were ready. Soon after, Stanford was using Pinsky’s test to definitively diagnose approximately 1,000 patients each day. Pinsky’s work illustrates how the ingenuity and nimbleness of Stanford’s research enterprise can make a profound impact on human health in a short period of time. The Innovative Medicines Accelerator (IMA) was launched for just this reason—to help Stanford researchers like Pinsky quickly turn breakthroughs into new ways to help patients.
The IMA aims to accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries into new therapeutics and diagnostics while expanding our knowledge of human biology. In the case of new diseases such as COVID-19, the IMA is poised to rapidly mobilize the university’s resources—including scientific, engineering, and clinical expertise, along with cutting edge research capabilities and industry alliances—to bring the best of what Stanford has to offer to bear on the most urgent health needs of our times. The IMA will augment existing programs at Stanford with state-of-the-art resources to help faculty and trainees translate discoveries into therapeutic and diagnostic candidates and design proof-of-concept studies in both patients and healthy populations. By creating an infrastructure that enables rapid application of innovations in molecular science, computation, and engineering, while providing the means to test ideas directly in humans or human biology models as early in the translational process as possible, the IMA will bridge the gap between breakthroughs in biology and new medicines to help people live longer, healthier lives.
Current Calls for Proposals
May 2020 COVID-19 Response: Request for Proposals for Drug and Vaccine Prototyping
IMA seeks to support translational research projects that will develop scalable drug screening assays, validate novel drug targets, repurpose molecules with human safety data, or engineer new reagents that will serve as drug or vaccine prototypes for COVID-19. Competitive projects at all stages (lead discovery, lead optimization) and modalities (small molecule, large molecule) will be considered provided that the project is driven by developing a therapy or prophylaxis for COVID-19. Successful applicants will receive $50K-$100K (total direct) for 6-12 months with the possibility to apply for follow-up funding, contingent upon progress and scientific needs to address the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Projects may be fully or partially funded.
May 2020 COVID-19 Response: Request for Proposals for Outpatient Studies on Human Subjects
IMA seeks to support research projects aimed at testing hypotheses in human subjects that, if validated, have the potential to yield powerful new tools for the modeling, diagnosis, or management of COVID-19 in individuals or populations. Competitive projects will have a strong mechanistic basis and will leverage Stanford’s newly established outpatient COVID-19 Clinical and Translational Research Unit (CTRU), where outpatients can be safely tested and/or treated. An example of an ongoing experimental human biological study in this CTRU is NCT04331899 on www.clinicaltrials.gov. Successful applicants will receive $50K-$100K (total direct) for 6-12 months with the possibility to apply for follow-up funding, contingent upon progress and scientific needs to address the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Projects may be fully or partially funded. Awarded projects will also receive access to the COVID-19 CTRU.
Other Calls for Proposals
June 2020 COVID-19 Crisis Response: RISE Call for Proposals
Stanford RISE - Respond, Innovate, Scale, Empower - aims to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with solutions for our community that can help people and organizations respond to the complex medical, economic, policy and societal needs of this moment and far beyond. The purpose of this request for proposals (RFP) is to complement the scope of two recently announced RFPs designed to accelerate the prototyping of innovative medicines and to enable hypothesis-driven studies on COVID-19 patients. Through this RFP, we seek to support ideas that have the potential to address health and wellness issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. These would include proposals on social, economic, or other disparities revealed by the pandemic, community-building at Stanford and beyond, and the fostering of partnerships that are relevant to the current crisis and will persist thereafter.
COVID-19 Response: Stanford University-Alloy Therapeutics License Agreement for Antibody Prototyping
Stanford University’s Innovative Medicines Accelerator (IMA) aims to accelerate the prototyping of innovative medicines, and to enable hypothesis-driven studies on human subjects. The purpose of this license agreement is to leverage emerging capacity and infrastructure at Stanford to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. IMA seeks to support translational research projects that will develop antibody prototypes against COVID-19 by providing access to proprietary technologies from Alloy Therapeutics.
ChEM-H & IMA tackle COVID-19: News Stories
- Stanford Medicine researchers lead clinical trial of interferon-lambda for COVID-19
- How chloroquine, coronavirus duke it out inside a dish
- Ensuring research goes forward, faster
- Stanford seeking to expand space for COVID-19 research
- Stanford community gathers resources in support of COVID-19 testing