[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 31-Jul-2013
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Contact: Christopher Thomas
thomaschr@ninds.nih.gov
301-496-5751
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

NIH launches neurological drug development projects

New projects will target Fragile X syndrome, nicotine addiction, and age-related macular degeneration

IMAGE: The Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network uses a virtual pharma model to facilitate the development of drugs for treating neurological disorders.

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The National Institutes of Health has launched three innovative projects that will focus on development of therapeutics for Fragile X syndrome, nicotine addiction, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These projects are funded through the NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network which provides access to a variety of drug development resources.

"We are excited about the opportunity to apply cutting-edge science to the pursuit of novel treatments for these debilitating disorders" said Rebecca Farkas, Ph.D., program director at NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), Office of Translational Research.

The purpose of the NIH Blueprint is to provide in-depth research capabilities to increase the success rate of innovative drug discovery efforts. The program uses a virtual pharma model to provide researchers with access to support and resources that have been traditionally available to large pharmaceutical companies.

Partnerships between NIH program staff and awarded research teams are designed to bridge the funding gap between ground-breaking laboratory research and industry adoption. NIH staff helps investigators work with veteran industry drug development consultants and contract research organization capabilities from the discovery stage through preliminary clinical trials. In addition, each investigator maintains sole ownership of intellectual property associated with his or her project

NIH launched the Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network in 2011. Including these three awards, 14 drug discovery programs have been funded as part of the program and 10 are currently active (see: http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov/bpdrugs/bpn.htm).

The newly-funded investigators and their organizations are:

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NINDS is the nation's leading funder of research on the brain and nervous system. The NINDS mission is to reduce the burden of neurological disease a burden borne by every age group, by every segment of society, by people all over the world.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.



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