Request for Information (RFI): Priorities for Cancer-oriented Research and Development by Small Businesses

Notice Number: NOT-CA-08-015

Key Dates
Release Date:  May 2, 2008
Response Date:  June 15, 2008

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI), (

This Request for Information (RFI) is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  The NCI does not intend to make any awards on the basis of responses to this RFI or to otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information. 


The purpose of this RFI is to identify future research and development (R&D) priorities for small businesses in cancer-relevant areas (including cancer biology, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment). This information may be used to help the NCI Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to identity future directions that can augment the NCI’s efforts to reduce the burden of cancer on society,

Feedback on these priorities is sought from:


The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program was created in 1982 through the Small Business Innovation Development Act and designed to stimulate advanced research and technological innovation by small businesses. The SBIR Program is structured in two phases.  Phase I awards (typically $100,000 for a 6-12 month project) are to be used to prove the feasibility of the proposed effort and establish its scientific and commercial promise.  Phase II grants (typically $750,000 for a 24-36 month project) are designed to further advance the Phase I work and to enable the applicants to make significant progress towards commercialization, such as creating a prototype.  The phase following the end of Phase II, commonly referred to as Phase III, is carried out with non-SBIR funds and is the stage at which the technological innovation developed in Phases I and II is expected to move into the marketplace.  In order to commercialize its product during Phase III, a company is expected to raise the additional funds, typically from the private sector, that would be needed for this effort.

The NCI SBIR Program assists qualified small businesses engaged in research and development in the cancer area with the ultimate goal of bringing products to the market that can help cancer patients.  For more information on the NCI SBIR Program, including current and past funding opportunities, please visit

Information Requested

This announcement solicits information on areas/topics in cancer biology, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in which SBIR investments can enable and/or expedite the development and commercialization of innovations that could benefit cancer patients.

The information provided to the NCI may eventually be used in the planning of new funding initiatives targeting small business concerns (SBCs).
Responses will be compiled and shared internally with scientific working groups convened by the NCI, as appropriate.  Responses may be anonymous.  In all cases when responders choose to provide their names, these names will be withheld before any information provided is shared publicly.

Please provide concise answers to the following questions (do not exceed 3 pages):
1. Please identify promising cancer-relevant areas/topics (in cancer biology, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment) that could stimulate and accelerate development and commercialization of tools/products benefiting cancer patients and/or general population.  Please elaborate on the specific commercial opportunities and the time and effort necessary to bring a product to market following completion of the Phase II SBIR project.  Please provide specifics such as market size, projected market growth, number of companies active in this area of R&D, and how the topic targets a clear need and window of opportunity in a specific market.  Also, if possible, please provide references.

2. For areas/topics identified in the previous question, please assess the effect that an NCI SBIR award may have on the SBC chances for subsequent additional funding from the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry or the investment community and/or the formation of strategic partnerships.  Please give reasons for your assessment(s).

3. Please identify cancer-relevant areas/topics (in cancer biology, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment) that you believe are presently receiving substantial funding and support from industry, government (Federal and State), foundations, and investment communities or entities (including both venture capital firms and “angel” investors). Please Indicate whether such areas should be considered of lower priority for additional support through the NCI SBIR program.

4. Please check your primary affiliation/role:

Academia ____
Small Business ____
Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology Industry ____
Federal Government ____
State Government ____
Venture Capital Sector____
“Angel” Investor ____
Healthcare Professional___
Patient Advocacy Group ____
Other (briefly define) ___

5. Have you or any company in your portfolio received an SBIR award?  If so, please identify the awarding agency/agencies and state how many Phase I and Phase II awards have been received.

Responses will be accepted until June 15, 2008.  Responses should be limited to three pages and marked with this RFI identifier NOT-CA-08-015.  Responses are preferred in electronic format and can be e-mailed to  The collected information will be analyzed, but the results will not be made available to the public and individual responses will remain confidential.  No proprietary information should be submitted. 

Respondents will receive an email confirmation acknowledging receipt of their response, but will not receive individualized feedback.


Inquiries regarding this Notice may be directed to:

Ali Andalibi, Ph.D.
Program Director
SBIR Development Center
National Cancer Institute
31 Center Drive, Building 31
Room 10A52, MSC 2580
Bethesda, MD 20892-2580
Telephone: 301-496-0763
Fax: 301-496-7807

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

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