Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Repurposing Existing Therapeutics to Address the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Notice Number: NOT-TR-20-012

Key Dates
Release Date: March 27, 2020
First Available Due Date: June 05, 2020
Expiration Date: October 17, 2020

Related Announcements

PAR-17-465 Bench Testing Therapeutic/Indication Pairing Strategies (UG3/UH3)

PAR-18-462 Clinical Trial Planning: Therapeutic/Indication Pairing Strategies (U34) (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PAR-18-332 Clinic Testing Therapeutic/Indication Pairing Strategies (U01 Clinical Trial Required)

Issued by
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)


National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) is issuing this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to highlight the urgent need for research on the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it causes, i.e., “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). NCATS is particularly interested in projects that repurpose existing drugs or biologics (existing therapeutics) that have already begun or completed a Phase I clinical trial.

The hypothesis for proposed studies must be developed using innovative processes to identify the therapeutic/indication pair. Examples include the following:

  • Testing a candidate therapy to treat COVID-19 that was already identified with a publicly available computational approach.

NCATS is soliciting applications to PAR-17-465, PAR-18-462, and PAR-18-332.


Many existing experimental drugs, FDA approved drugs, and biologics already have been tested in humans, and detailed information is available about their pharmacology, formulation, and potential toxicity. By building upon previous research and development efforts, new uses for existing drugs or biologics can be advanced to testing in clinical trials more quickly than starting from scratch. If a new therapy receives regulatory approval, it can be efficiently integrated into clinical practice. Coronaviruses are a diverse family of viruses that cause a range of disease in humans and animals, and there are currently no approved coronavirus therapeutics. In January 2020, a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was identified as the causative agent of an outbreak of viral pneumonia. Transmission characteristics and the associated morbidity and mortality are not completely understood, but there is clear evidence of human-to-human transmission. Many other aspects of the disease are poorly understood. Given this, there is an urgent public health need to better understand COVID-19 and find therapies to treat infections.

Application and Submission Information

This notice applies to receipt dates shown below.

Submit applications for this initiative using one of the following funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) or any reissues of these announcement through the expiration date of this notice.

Activity Codes

FOA Title

Applicable Dates


PAR-17-465: Bench Testing Therapeutic/Indication Paring Strategies (UG3/UH3)

Applicable Receipt Date:

  • June 26, 2020


PA-18-462:Clinical Trial Planning: Therapeutic/Indication Pairing Strategies (U34) (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Applicable Receipt Date:

  • June 16, 2020
  • October 16, 2020


PAR-18-332: Clinic Testing Therapeutic/Indications Pairing Strategies (U01 Clinical Trial Required)

Applicable Receipt Dates:

  • June 5, 2020
  • October 5, 2020

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the funding opportunity announcement used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:

  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-TR-20-012” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative.
Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will be not be considered for the NOSI initiative.



Please direct all inquiries to the Scientific/Research, Peer Review, and Financial/Grants Management contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements.