Proof-of-concept studies and early development studies are the two types of projects supported by the Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine (MolMed). The trans-fund and late-fund aim to fulfill the mission of MolMed by supporting these projects towards greater development.
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Proof-of-Concept Funds (Trans-fund)
Proof-of-concept studies are eligible for support by a trans-fund, which is a seeding fund intended for defined early stage translational projects. Funds for these pilot studies are supported by The University of California Office of the President, Assembly Bill 2664, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (AB2664). The size of these grants vary from $5,000 to $50,000 for a duration of up to one year. It is expected that successful awardees would use the data to submit publications, translational grant proposals, and patent applications as appropriate. Selected Trans-funds awardees are expected to present their results at the center’s annual symposium and/or at one of the quarterly meetings where the Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) members are attending.
Proposals will be evaluated for significance to human health, impact and innovation, translational potential. This means that proposals will not only be evaluated on scientific merit and innovation, but also for their likelihood to secure external funds that will support further development and commercialization. Applicants that can demonstrate the potential of their proposal to secure additional funds for further translational studies will therefore be given higher priority.
Typical activities for the trans-fund can include but are not limited to target validation studies, initial assay development, protein expression and purification studies followed by crystallization or biophysical studies, pilot screening studies, scale up syntheses of interesting agents (small molecules or biologics), anti-body production and testing, etc.
Drug Development Funds (Late-Fund)
The late-fund is devoted towards the funding of early development studies. Its purpose is to catalyze the transition of late-stage pre-clinical projects into early-stage development. We envision that the late-fund would provide seeding capital to attract private, pharma or venture capital investments to further develop the selected product. This fund would follow the general scope of Phase II NIH SBIR/STTR grants. However, the funds could also be used as matching or starting fund to form and launch a UCR spin-off company at the incubator space, with support by the Entrepreneurial Proof of Concept and Innovation Center (EPIC). The size of the late-fund proposal would vary from $100,000 to up to $500,000 for a duration of up to 1-2 years. MolMed is seeking funds to support late-fund applications.
Typical activities for the late-fund could be performed by the investigative team or commissioned to specialized CROs (for GMP/GLP labs and IND filing we opt to work with the laboratories at the City of Hope, a collaborating institution) including, but not limited to, GMP production and manufacturing of selected lead agent (small molecule, peptide mimetic, or antibody), toxicity studies, pharmacokinetics studies, larger scale efficacy studies, IND filing, etc.