Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Funding Opportunity Title

Host-Directed TB Therapy: New Approaches (UH2/UH3)

Activity Code

UH2/UH3 Phase Innovation Awards Cooperative Agreement

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-AI-14-058

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.855, 93.856

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit applications for support of preclinical evaluation, planning for and conduct of proof-of-concept clinical studies for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) treatment that will be applicable in the context of HIV co-infection using host-directed agents already approved for clinical use or in late-stage clinical trials for other conditions. Host-directed therapies (HDT) for TB that may also have activity against HIV, either directly or by enhancing immunologic reactions, are of particular interest.

Funds from the NIH will be made available through the UH2/UH3 cooperative agreement award mechanism. The initial UH2 award (up to two years) will support the development of critical preclinical data, development of study partnerships, and development of the proof-of-concept (POC) trial protocol and all supporting plans and documentation. Once UH2 pre-clinical and clinical milestones have been met, the UH3 award (up to 3 years) may be made to support the planned POC clinical trial.

Key Dates

Posted Date

November 13, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

February 25, 2015

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

February 25, 2015

Application Due Date(s)

March 25, 2015, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

March 25, 2015 by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of AIDS and AIDS-related applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

Scientific Merit Review

July 2015

Advisory Council Review

October 2015

Earliest Start Date

December 2015

Expiration Date

March 26, 2015

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information

Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Section II. Award Information

Section III. Eligibility Information

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

Section V. Application Review Information

Section VI. Award Administration Information

Section VII. Agency Contacts

Section VIII. Other Information

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Background

Improved treatment for both drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) is among the highest priorities for advancing public health on a global scale. The number of antimicrobial drugs entering or undergoing clinical evaluation for TB therapy is very limited, and some have substantial safety and tolerance issues and/or drug-drug interaction concerns with other TB and antiretroviral drugs. The three new classes of antimicrobial TB drugs that have either reached accelerated approval or are likely to be approved are also liable to develop drug resistance and only one represents an entirely new class of agent. Therefore, an urgent need exists for new TB therapeutic strategies that are efficacious and safe in the different settings particularly HIV/TB co-infection and will not be subject to development of resistance. Recent work on host-pathogen interactions and host immunity suggests that adjunctive therapy with immunomodulators (now more commonly called host-directed therapy or HDT agents) could lead to shorter treatment and improved outcomes for drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant TB by modifying TB-induced immune defects, particularly in the setting of immunodeficiency (including HIV infection). Other HDT agents may decrease local inflammatory tissue pathology, including by TB Immune Restoration Inflammatory Syndrome (IRIS), and the resulting bacterial sequestration from antibiotics and immune effector cells. Others may allow dormant bacilli to re-activate or cause changes in their metabolic state, which in turn, increases bacterial susceptibility to antimicrobial drugs. Agents approved for clinical use or in late-stage clinical trials for other conditions are being considered for clinical evaluation and rapid adaptation (re-purposing) for TB treatment. Small molecule host-directed TB therapies targeted to persons infected with both TB and HIV are of primary interest.

Scope of the Solicited Research

This FOA will support projects proposing limited preclinical work and also the planning activities needed to advance HDT strategies as adjuvant therapies for TB applicable to HIV/TB co-infection into proof-of-concept (POC) clinical trials. Candidate HDT must have preclinical evidence of therapeutic benefit in an appropriate TB animal model, and have FDA approval for any indication or be in Phase II or III clinical trials for other diseases. Pre-clinical studies in animal models known to have the most similarity in relevant immunologic mechanisms to humans (e.g., non-human primates or improved humanized models of other animal models) are encouraged.

Types of agents (or combinations of agents) that may be studied include small-molecule agents that, as therapeutic adjuvants:

  • Modulate destructive immune-mediated inflammatory responses (cytokine inhibitors, eicosanoid synthesis pathway inhibitors, etc.)
  • Allow host immune cells to prevent or inhibit cell entry and/or survival of TB through reversal of functional defects (e.g., autophagy enhancement)
  • Stimulate the immune clearance of TB
  • Improve effectiveness of antimicrobial therapy
  • Directly protect tissues from inflammatory damage

Agents effective as adjuvants for TB treatment that may also have therapeutic activity against HIV, either directly or by enhancing immunologic reactions, are of particular interest.

UH2/UH3 Phase Innovation Awards

Applicants must plan for both a UH2 and a UH3 phase in their application. The UH2 phase must include milestone-driven preclinical work as well as the planning, design, and preparation of the documentation necessary for implementation of the POC clinical trial. Each application should include additional milestones that are specific for their proposed POC clinical trial (UH3 phase). These should be quantifiable metrics to measure success. Additional milestones may be negotiated after funding decisions have been made.

Applicants are referred to NIAID’s Clinical Research Toolkit website (http://www.niaid.nih.gov/labsandresources/resources/toolkit/pages/default.aspx) for protocol templates and guidance, clinical research resources, and links to program divisions. In addition applicants are strongly encouraged to review NIAID DAIDS (http://www.niaid.nih.gov/labsandresources/resources/daidsclinrsrch/Pages/Default.aspx) for information regarding division-specific clinical research policies and procedures.

Applications including the following will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed:

  • Studies of vaccines, biologic agents
  • POC clinical trials in pediatric patients
  • Plans for more than one (1) POC clinical trial
  • Applications that do not include a POC clinical trial

Potential applicants who have finished sufficient pre-clinical work to provide evidence for safety and effectiveness for a candidate HDT agent needed to proceed to a clinical trial should respond to either:

NIAID Clinical Trial Planning Grant (R34) FOA PAR-13-150

NIAID Clinical Trial Implementation Cooperative Agreement (U01) FOA PAR-13-151

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities.

Application Types Allowed

New

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIAID intends to commit $2.9 million in FY 2015 to fund 2-3 awards.

Award Budget

Application budgets are limited to $600,000 per year in total costs for the UH2 phase and $1.45 million in total costs for each year of the UH3 phase. Application budgets need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

Project periods should reflect the scope of the work proposed. The UH2 phase may request up to two years of support and the UH3 phase may request up to 3 years of support. NIAID anticipates that awards will range from 3 to 5 years. The total award project period is limited to five years.

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations
  • Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions)

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are eligible to apply.

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account. PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

2. Cost Sharing

This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).

In addition, the NIH will not accept a resubmission (A1) application that is submitted later than 37 months after submission of the new (A0) application that it follows. The NIH will accept submission:

  • To an RFA of an application that was submitted previously as an investigator-initiated application but not paid;
  • Of an investigator-initiated application that was originally submitted to an RFA but not paid; or
  • Of an application with a changed grant activity code.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

L.-Yong Gao, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Room 3G13, MSC-9823
5601 Fishers Lane
Bethesda, MD 20892-9823 (express mail: Rockville, MD 20852-9823)
Phone: 240-669-5048
Email: gaol2@niaid.nih.gov

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed with the following additional instructions:

Other Attachments: The following attachment is required for this FOA, and must be included as a separate pdf attachment.

The filename “Attachment.pdf” should be used and will be reflected in the final image bookmarking for easy access for reviewers.

Applicants should provide the following in clearly marked sub-section of the Attachment.pdf document:

  • Preliminary Clinical Protocol Synopsis
  • Consideration for Sample Size Calculations
  • Potential Risks to Subjects for Safety Monitoring

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

R&R Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed with the following additional instruction:

The budget should include a request for funding the preparation of a final study report.

R&R Subaward Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Research Plan

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Specific Aims: Applicants must provide a single Specific Aims attachment to include both the UH2 and UH3 phases. UH2 Specific Aims should include a brief description of the preclinical work to be performed and protocol development activities to be undertaken. Specific Aims for the POC clinical trial (UH3 phase) should include broad goals of the trial and the expected outcome(s), including specification of the primary and major secondary endpoints to be measured.

Research Strategy: In preparing the application, investigators should consider that the application will be assigned a single overall impact score. Thus, clarity and completeness of the application with regard to specific goals and the feasibility of each phase and the Milestones are critical. The Research Strategy must include: 1) a brief overview section describing the state of the science, current status and relevance of the trial addressing the significance of the problem being studied, the need for the trial, and the potential impact of the results of the trial, as well as how the trial will test the hypothesis (es) proposed, 2) a clearly labeled separate section for the UH2 and 3) a clearly labeled separate section for the UH3 phase.

  • The UH2 section of the Research Strategy should specifically include:
  • A description of the proposed HDT agent and rationale for the choice, including evidence of therapeutic benefit in an appropriate TB animal model;
  • A clear hypothesis stating the proposed mechanism by which the proposed HDT agents could lead to shorter treatment and improved outcomes for drug-sensitive and multiple drug-resistant TB in HIV-infected individuals who may or may not be taking effective antiretroviral therapyInclude supporting preliminary data;
  • A description of and rationale for the preclinical and animal work proposed and how this will inform dosing regimen, duration, and type of study population. Describe plans to address safety and effectiveness, and any possible pharmacokinetic and toxicity interactions. While the use of animal models relevant to human TB and/or HIV is strongly encouraged, the applicant should provide justification of the use of nonhuman primates or any other animal species proposed;
  • A discussion of past experience and successes with the preclinical studies proposed and experience developing required documentation for the conduct of related POC clinical trials;
  • A description of the activities to be carried out during the POC clinical trial planning period, and an organizational plan to ensure the proposed scientific goals can be accomplished;
  • A description of and a rationale for the proposed study design with an emphasis on how the POC clinical trial will clearly test the stated hypothesis including primary and secondary endpoints;
  • An explanation of why it is an appropriate population to study the research question(s) posed;
  • A description of Milestones for the UH2 phase at the end of the UH2 section. The UH2 Milestones should be specific, measureable, and scientifically justified; they should not be simply a restatement of the UH2 specific aims. Include discussion of the milestones as a means to determine success in the UH2 phase, and readiness to move directly into implementation of the proof of concept trial upon award of the UH3 phase.

The UH3 section of the Research Strategy should specifically include:

  • A description of how the trial will be organized and managed, including the plans to identify and select additional collaborators, if applicable;
  • A description of organizational and coordination activities required for the conduct of POC trials; and
  • A description of UH3 phase protocol specific milestones at the end of the UH3 section. Include a discussion on potential delays, and alternates for conducting the study in the face of adverse outcomes or problems in sufficient detail to inform the likelihood of accomplishing the trial in the time proposed.

Letters of Support: Provide all appropriate letters of support, including any letters necessary to demonstrate the support of consortium/site participants, cores, laboratories, pharmacies and other collaborators. If co-funding or in-kind support is planned from non-NIH sources, letter(s) outlining details of the commitment (e.g. type, amount and source of support), signed by a business official on organization letterhead, and must be included in the Letters of Support section.

Include any applicable documentation indicating access to the study population and availability of the HDT agent. If the application relies upon patentable ideas, trade secrets, privileged or confidential commercial information or study agents or materials that are not owned by the applicant, but are necessary for regulatory approval or for the trial itself, include a letter of agreement from the collaborators stating willingness to supply these data and/or resources to the applicant for the proposed clinical trial. Alternatively, a Material Transfer Agreement may be included.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following modification:

  • All applications submitted for the January 25, 2015, due date or after are expected to comply with the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy as detailed in NOT-OD-14-111, as applicable.
  • All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan.
  • Applications should describe plans to use standard clinical data formats and timelines for providing access to clinical data.

Appendix: Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Planned Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Foreign Institutions

Foreign (non-U.S.) institutions must follow policies described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and procedures for foreign institutions described throughout the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date. If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Paper applications will not be accepted.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by NIAID, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-13-030.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project? Do the PD(s)/PI(s) and key personnel have the necessary expertise for design and implementation of a proof of concept trial for TB treatment in the context of HIV? Do the PD(s)/PI(s) have documented experience and collaborations to accomplish the goals?

Innovation

Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed? Is the research novel or innovative in its methods or approach, in the population being studied or in the intervention being evaluated, in ways that make it likely to influence TB and/or TB HIV treatment?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed? Will proposed preclinical and planning activities allow for implementing the POC trial within the proposed timelines?

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?

Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

Milestones

Given the critical nature of the milestones for the potential UH2 to UH3 transition, are the proposed Milestones well-defined, measurable, and appropriate for assessing the success of the UH2 phase of the application? Will proposed milestones allow for implementing the POC trial within the proposed timelines? Is it clear how the UH3 phase of the study will develop once the UH2 goals are achieved? Given the potential benefits of the proposed research, do the Milestones support the transition and will the overall project advance the HDT strategy? Are the proposed milestones for the UH3 POC clinical trial feasible and appropriate?

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: 1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; 2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; 3) adequacy of veterinary care; 4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and 5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Reviewers will assess whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions that exist in other countries and either are not readily available in the United States or augment existing U.S. resources.

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: 1) Data Sharing Plan; 2) Sharing Model Organisms; and 3) Genomic Wide Association Studies (GWAS) /Genomic Data Sharing Plan.

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by NIAID, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.

Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.

Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons.

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website. This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 (Part 92 is applicable when State and local Governments are eligible to apply), and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

  • Compliance with NIAID Division of AIDS (DAIDS) Clinical Research Policies and Standard Procedures Documents - http://www.niaid.nih.gov/labsandresources/resources/daidsclinrsrch/Pages/Default.aspx Ensuring adequate safety precautions relative to potential risk and careful safety monitoring will be essential elements of the plans.
  • All aspects of their study, including any modification of study design, conduct of the study, quality control, data analysis and interpretation, preparation of publications, dissemination of data, tools, and technologies, and collaboration with other investigators. The awardee agrees to accept close coordination, cooperation, and participation of NIAID staff in those aspects of scientific and technical management of the study as stated in these terms and conditions.
  • Meeting NIAID policy requiring that studies be monitored commensurate with the degree of potential risk to study subjects and the complexity of the study. An updated NIAID policy was published in the NIH Guide on July 8, 2002 and is available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-AI-02-032.html. The full policy, including terms and conditions of award, is available at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/pdf/clinterm.pdf
  • Upon implementation of the protocol, ensuring that each field center, whether a single institution or a consortium of institutions, will follow the procedures required by the protocol regarding study conduct and monitoring, volunteer management, data collection, and quality control.
  • Support or other involvement of industry or any other third party in the study--e.g., participation by the third party; involvement of project resources or citing the name of the project or the NIAID support; or special access to project results, data, findings, or resources--may be advantageous and appropriate. However, except for licensing of patents or copyrights, support or involvement of any third party will occur only following notification of and concurrence by NIAID.
  • Putting all study materials and procedure manuals into the public domain. Awardees are expected to publish and publicly disseminate results, data, and other products of the study, concordant with governance policies and protocols. Publications and oral presentations of work performed under this agreement will require appropriate acknowledgment of support by the NIAID/NIH.
  • Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current DHHS, PHS, and NIH policies.
  • Prior to the end of the UH2, awardees will submit the transition package, which includes the UH2 progress report, progress towards all UH2 milestones, a description of readiness to implement the UH3 POC trial, and all documents needed for review by DAIDS staff, including a clinical protocol and informed consent to be reviewed by the Division of AIDS internal Clinical Sciences Review Committee (CSRC). Subsequent to administrative review, UH3 funding decisions will be based on the original UH2/UH3 peer review recommendations, successful completion of milestones and all required documentation, quality and adequacy of preclinical results for justifying transition to a POC trial, program priorities, and availability of funds

NIH staff will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

  • Have access to data generated under this Cooperative Agreement and may periodically review the data and progress reports. NIAID staff may use information obtained from the data for the preparation of internal reports on the activities of the study.
  • Serve as a resource to provide scientific/programmatic support during the accomplishment of the research by participating in the design of the activities, provision of research resources and reagents available from NIAID grantees and contractors, advising in management and technical performance, or participating in the preparation of publications.
  • Provide medical monitoring by an NIH NIAID Medical Officer who will monitor the clinical trials and serve as the Medical Monitor; should a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company sponsoring a clinical trial choose to name its own Medical Monitor, then the NIAID Medical Officer will work with the company-assigned Medical Monitor.
  • Oversee adverse event management and reporting, and have regular communications with the PD/PI and study team, which may include attendance at the safety monitoring (or DSMB) and related committee meetings.
  • Review the progress of the study, and of each participating facility, through consideration of the accrual and data completeness and quality, reports, annual progress reports, site visits, etc. This review may include, but is not limited to, compliance with the study protocol, meeting enrollment targets, adherence to uniform data collection procedures, and the timeliness and quality of data reporting.

NIAID reserves the right to terminate or curtail the study (or an individual award) in the event of (a) failure to implement the study protocol, (b) a substantial shortfall in participant recruitment, follow-up, data reporting and dissemination, quality control, or other major breach of the protocol, (c) substantive changes in the agreed-upon protocol with which NIAID does not concur, (d) reaching a major study objective substantially before schedule with persuasive statistical evidence, or (e) human subject ethical issues that may dictate a premature termination.

Additionally, an agency program official or IC program director will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

A Steering Committee (SC), composed of the Program Director/Principal Investigator, as well as the representatives of the field centers, the data coordination and of any specialized facilities, and one NIAID representative (the Project Scientist). The NIAID Project Scientist will have voting membership on the SC and, as appropriate, its subcommittees. The SC will have primary responsibility for facilitating the conduct and monitoring of studies and reporting study results. Awardees will be required to accept and implement the common protocol and procedures approved by the SC. The SC should meet with monthly by conference calls, supplemented as necessary by face to face meetings.

Each full member will have one vote. Awardee members of the Steering Committee will be required to accept and implement policies approved by the Steering Committee.

Dispute Resolution:

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. It will have three members: a designee of the Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact CenterTelephone: 800-518-4726
Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone: 301-435-0714
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Sudha Srinivasan, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-627-3062
Email: sudha.srinivasan@niaid.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

L.-Yong Gao, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-669-5048
Email: gaol2@niaid.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Tamia Powell
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-669-2982
Email: tamia.powell@nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.

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