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the 2023 txbio pilot grant competition is scheduled to open february 1, 2023.

Download a copy of the 2022 RFA here.


OVERVIEW

 

The TXBio Pilot Grant Program is a research initiative, jointly led by the College of Natural Sciences and the Cockrell School of Engineering, focused on the discovery, early development, clinical translation, production, and delivery of biologic therapies originating across The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). TXBio (Texas Biologics) is supported by philanthropic gifts that are being deployed broadly to enhance the intellectual environment and infrastructure relevant to biologics research at UT Austin.

A major goal of TXBio is to strengthen and expand biomedical translational research at UT Austin. One mechanism to achieve this goal is to provide financial support for projects in biologics discovery and development. For the inaugural competition in 2022, TXBio awarded four research grants on biologics discovery.


For the 2023 competition, TXBio is expanding its focus and will consider proposals that are broadly focused on:

  • new biologic therapies with novel mechanisms of action,
  • technology platforms for the production of biologic therapies, and
  • drug delivery technologies specific to the delivery of biologic therapies.

Biologics include therapeutic proteins and peptides, nucleic acids, cell therapies and blood or tissue products. The program seeks proposals aimed at generating “lead” therapeutics, delivery technologies and production platforms, all focused on biologics.  For the first two topics, performing proof-of-therapeutic-concept studies in vitro and in animal models, and addressing other issues critical to early drug development are of particular interest.  

Successful proposals should:

  • For development of biologics: Lead to new molecular entities (composition of matter) that are clearly differentiated from other approaches targeting the same disease pathway or targeting novel disease pathways.
  • For development of delivery technologies for biologics: Lead to new compositions of matter and/or patentable process steps to address major problems such as tissue/cell selectivity, oral delivery (or delivery into the CSF), etc. of biologics drugs. Successful submissions will need to clearly explain how the proposed approach/composition of matter is differentiated from the state of the art in the field and from the investigator’s on-going other research.
  • For production platforms: Address what problem is being solved, how the approach addresses limitation in the state of the art and how it will enable important therapeutic modalities.
  • Include an experimental plan for validating the proposed mechanism of action, the effectiveness of delivery, or the efficiency of production.
  • Outline possible barriers to clinical or commercial development (e.g., medical need, toxicities, manufacturing complexity) and how they may be overcome.

Ultimately, the mission of TXBio is to make lasting contributions to human health and improve quality of life. Therefore, projects should have a long-term view toward clinical trials and commercialization with an aim to bring biologic therapies and technologies developed at UT Austin to the patient.


OPPORTUNITY HIGHLIGHTS AND PROPOSAL CRITERIA

 

  • Awarded applications will receive a research grant up to $150,000 to be used over a performance period of two years. Grants are not subject to indirect costs; however, the grant may be subject to a research recovery fee per the policy of the awardee’s primary College or School. This fee is accessed to support costs incurred by the CSU or department in administering the award, similar to a research gift or sponsored project. Applicants should consider such policies when drafting his or her budget (i.e., a research recovery fee of 6% will relate to a net award of $141,000.)
  • Up to 4 research grants will be awarded in the 2023 competition cycle, depending on the number of meritorious proposals that have been received.
  • The review committee may request clarifications or revisions for select proposals. Proposals invited for revision may be delayed in funding, if selected. In such cases, projects will still be allowed two years for completion.
  • Only proposals related to biologics therapies will be considered. Following FDA guidance, biologics include vaccines, blood and blood components, allergenics, somatic cells, gene therapy, tissues, and recombinant therapeutic proteins and peptides. Proposals considering therapies or related to therapy delivery or production not meeting this definition will not be reviewed.
  • Proposals to investigate the application of an existing biologic for a new indication are not within the scope of this call and will not be considered.
  • All therapeutic areas and diseases will be considered.

ELIGIBILITY

 

Those who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for a TXBio Pilot Grant:

  • Tenure-track faculty, non-tenure-track faculty, and those with active Principal Investigator status with a primary appointment in UT Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, College of Natural Sciences, Dell Medical School, or College of Pharmacy are eligible to apply.
  • Faculty may submit only one application per cycle as the primary PI. However, an individual may serve in a Co-PI or other collaborative role on more than one application each cycle.
  • Non-awarded applicants from previous cycles may resubmit their proposals once for a total of two submissions.
  • PIs and Co-PIs with an active TXBio Pilot Grant are not eligible to apply inthe 2023 competition.

TIMELINE

 

Application window opens: February 1, 2023

Application deadline: April 3, 2023

Announcement of awardees: June 2023

Award start date: September 1, 2023


CONTACT INFORMATION

 

Competition website: https://utexas.infoready4.com/%23competitionDetail/1894522

Program website: https://cns.utexas.edu/strategic-research-initiatives/find-funding/txbiogrants

Program questions and application submission interface questions should be directed to CNS Strategic Research Initiatives: CNS_SRI@austin.utexas.edu.


The form and timing of TXBio Pilot Grant awards are subject to change in subsequent years.

The content of this announcement is relevant only for the 2023 competition cycle.