Grants for clinical and translational research projects. Pilot Funding

Targeted Secretion Inhibition:
Applications in Oncology, Endocrinology, and Neurology/Pain

At a glance
Funding level
  • Up to $50,000 (direct costs only) per award
  • All Harvard University-appointed junior and senior faculty members are encouraged to apply.
  • You, or a member or your team, must attend one of the educational events or meet with Reactor team representatives.
Event Dates
  • May 16 and 17, 2017
Register By
  • 12:00pm on May 15, 2017
The application process is closed.

Offered by Harvard Catalyst's Reactor Program, this pilot funding opportunity will provide up to $50,000 in funding plus access to Ipsen's Targeted Secretion Inhibitor (TSI) technology platform to expand the clinical potential for this novel class of biopharmaceuticals.

This pilot grant opportunity will promote the design, development, and evaluation of novel TSIs for their potential clinical application in cancer, endocrine, neurological disorders, or pain. A critical feature of this research program is Ipsen's commitment to provide any awardees, who may require it, with scientific and technical support to design and develop project-related TSIs. Successful applicants do not necessarily need to be able to generate the TSI molecular constructs for their proposed work; such expertise can be provided. We are seeking innovative ideas coupled with robust model systems.

TSIs [PDF] are based on the structure and function of botulinum neurotoxins which are comprised of two peptide chains linked via a disulfide bond. The light chain (LC) possesses a proteolytic activity that can disrupt vesicle function and the associated secretion process. The heavy chain (HC) contains two domains, a transmembrane domain responsible for membrane insertion and translocation of the LC and a targeting domain responsible for binding to the motor neuron by the parent molecule. Botulinum neurotoxin stops secretion of vesicle components by its targeted proteolytic activity. Replacement of the neurotoxin targeting domain with another protein sequence (receptor, mAb, hormone, etc.) directs the recombinant secretion inhibitor to any desired cell type where it can disrupt normal secretion processes.

TSIs can inhibit cellular secretion for prolonged periods and may be suitable for use in a wide range of diseases where inhibition of cellular secretion could provide new therapeutic potential.

To apply, you or a member of your team are required to attend one of two educational events presented by the Harvard Catalyst Reactor Program to learn more about the TSI technology platform, its capability, potential uses, and receive application instructions.

  • Educational events will be held on Tuesday, May 16, and Wednesday, May 17, at Harvard Medical School in the Cannon Room, Building C, 240 Longwood Ave., Boston. Each educational session will run from 9:30am to 11:30am and include a Q&A session. Registration is required. Further information about the event will be available after registration.
  • If you are unable to attend either educational event, you are required to meet with a representative of Harvard Catalyst to learn about the TSI pilot grant opportunity.

Pilot grant proposals should describe innovative and translational research projects that, if successful, could provide new insights into the application of TSI technologies to inform: (1) clinical decisions; (2) disease detection, causation, progression, or treatment; or (3) the development of new therapeutics, diagnostics, or clinically informative biomarkers. Proposals should focus on applications in the fields of oncology, endocrinology, or neurology/pain.

Areas of inquiry should focus on translational research and human healthcare. Proposals requiring the use of non-human samples will only be considered if there is a clear and direct link to subsequent investigation of the human diseases/conditions listed above. Proposals investigating basic research questions or those solely limited to pre-clinical applications will not be considered. More details, including the Request for Applications, will follow after the educational events.

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