Biomedical Catalyst: Regenerative Medicine Research Committee: Nov 2018

 

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Introduction

Supports translation of fundamental discoveries toward benefits to human health.

The translation of the burgeoning knowledge in regenerative medicine into new treatment strategies is a key objective of the MRC’s strategic plan. The Biomedical Catalyst: Regenerative Medicine Research Committee (RMRC) provides support for high quality proposals that may underpin or progress the development of  regenerative medicine therapies to improve human health. The RMRC:

  • Supports confidence in concept studies that if successful will promote the translation of fundamental discoveries toward benefits to human health, thereby accelerating the transition from discovery research to mature translational development projects
  • Funds preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach, through addressing focussed research questions needed to unlock progress in pre-clinical development and/or early clinical testing of novel regenerative medicine therapies
  • Forms part of the MRC’s Translational Research Strategy and forms part of the Biomedical Catalyst funding stream, operating in conjunction with the Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme

Background

The translation of the burgeoning knowledge in regenerative medicine into new treatment strategies is a key objective of the MRC’s strategic plan.

The Biomedical Catalyst: Regenerative Medicine Research Committee (RMRC) will provide support for high quality proposals aiming to provide sufficient preliminary data to establish the viability of further progressing a regenerative medicine approach before seeking more substantive funding through the Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme. It is intended to de-risk and/or accelerate the transition from discovery research through to mature translational development projects.

Remit

The RMRC will fund confidence in concept projects that go beyond the understanding of basic endogenous repair mechanisms or stem cell biology or which use stem cells to probe the mechanisms of disease (which are funded through our boards). The intention is to support the translation of such research to a stage where further funding can be found to continue development towards human application. To deliver against this objective and to help scale your proposal, successful applications are expected to be in the order of 1-2 years duration, with RMRC committing up to £2m per year across ~10 awards.

The RMRC scheme will consider applications whose goals will provide key underpinning data and/or evidence of the viability of regenerative medicine approaches needed to unlock further support for the pre-clinical and/or early clinical development of regenerative medicine therapies including:

  • Cellular regenerative therapies spanning stem, progenitor and differentiated cells
  • Tissue repair strategies, including small molecule, gene therapy and biologics, where these directly target and enhance endogenous repair
  • Biomaterial interventions which actively engage repair and regeneration processes.
     

The Biomedical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS) is the RMRC’s sister programme, and will take the lead on mature regenerative medicine proposals where more substantive funding is required to deliver a project with a clear pathway to product or clinical development.

The MRC/EPSRC/BBSRC UK Regenerative Medicine Platform (UKRMP) complements the RMRC and DPFS focus on therapy development. The UKRMP supports the development of generic tools and approaches addressing key early translational challenges including controlled differentiation and manufacture, engineering the stem cell niche, therapeutic delivery, immunity and safety. Applicants should consider whether added value can be achieved through cooperation with the UKRMP and/or other relevant strategic investments in their area of interest.

The following activities are ineligible for support under the RMRC scheme:

  • Fundamental or investigative research not linked to a development plan (best supported by our response mode grants through the MRC research boards)
  • Mature regenerative medicine development pipeline proposals (supported by the Biomedical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme).
  • Clinical studies where the primary purpose is to investigate disease mechanism (best supported by our response mode grants through the MRC research boards)
  • Late-phase (phases 3 and 4) clinical trials (supported by the MRC-NIHR Efficacy, Mechanisms and Evaluation scheme and the NIHR Health Technology Assessment scheme)

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