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Sanofi – MIT Grant Opportunity for Researchers to Focus on Breakthrough Mesothelioma Treatment

Sanofi and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Biomedical Innovation are now accepting proposals for grants to encourage collaboration on applied and translational science and engineering research among the MIT faculty and members of the research staff.  Two of the areas research should be focused on are cancer and rare diseases.   Grants such as these are critical for providing funding for researchers to find breakthrough treatments for mesothelioma, a rare disease caused by exposure to asbestos.

While there is no known cure for mesothelioma, research is ongoing to find a cure or to develop a procedure to detect the disease at an early stage.  Mesothelioma diagnoses are most often made after symptoms appear and the disease has progressed to an advanced stage leaving the patient with life-threatening complications.  Innovative research requires significant amounts of time and money, and funding dedicated to rare diseases such as mesothelioma often benefit other cancers and diseases as well. 

Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, and MIT formed a strategic alliance earlier this year to promote the exchange of scientific knowledge between academia and industry.  Sanofi stated that the alliance provides them the opportunity “to develop therapeutic, diagnostic and prognostic applications based on the discoveries made during the alliance.”

The sanofi-aventis Biomedical Innovation Program (SABIP), the name for the alliance, will offer the Biomedical Innovation Funding Awards to provide MIT researchers with “focused, flexible and rapidly available support to enable innovative research projects for the development of potential healthcare solutions for patients.”

The proposals, according to the MIT announcement, are to be focused on:

  • Nanotechnology proposals for detection and monitoring of disease, and targeted and/or controlled drug delivery of small molecules, biologics or siRNA;
  • Research supporting new biomaterials for biosurgery for applications in osteoarthritis relief, adhesion prevention, cartilage repair, and severe burn treatment;
  • Solutions to healthcare issues related to aging, including translational research toward rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases;
  • Innovative approaches to improving compliance or ease of use of existing medicines (e.g. extended drug release strategies);
  • Strategies that enable the treatment of rare diseases;
  • Applied network biology approaches (e.g. systems biology, computational biology) that allow a better understanding of the biology of disease, identification of important signaling pathways or nodes that improve target identification;
  • Strategies to enable the oral delivery of biotherapeutics;
  • Innovative devices for improving patient healthcare.

Initial awards will be between $100,000-$150,000/year with periods of performance of up to two years.

See here for guidelines and application forms.  Application deadline is Sept. 6.

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Nancy Meredith is a blog and web content writer with more than 20 years of professional experience in the Information Technology industry. She has been writing about Mesothelioma for 7 years. Follow Nancy on Google+

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