Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

Funding Opportunity Title
Basket Clinical Trials of Drugs Targeting Shared Molecular Etiologies in Multiple Rare Diseases (U44 Clinical Trial Required)
Activity Code

U44 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Cooperative Agreements - Phase II

Announcement Type
Reissue of RFA-TR-22-029
Related Notices
  • November 14, 2023 - Clarification of Implementation of the NIH SBIR and STTR Foreign Disclosure Pre-award and Post-Award Requirements. See Notice NOT-OD-24-029.
  • June 12, 2023 - Implementation of the NIH SBIR and STTR Foreign Disclosure Pre-award and Post-Award Requirements . See NOT-OD-23-139.
  • February 23, 2023 - Notice of Change to Minimum Performance Standards for SBIR and STTR Applicants . See NOT-OD-23-092.
  • August 31, 2022 - Implementation Changes for Genomic Data Sharing Plans Included with Applications Due on or after January 25, 2023. See Notice NOT-OD-22-198.
  • August 5, 2022 - Implementation Details for the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. See Notice NOT-OD-22-189.
Funding Opportunity Number (FON)
RFA-TR-24-001
Companion Funding Opportunity
None
Number of Applications

See Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

Assistance Listing Number
93.350
Notice of Funding Opportunity Purpose

NCATS seeks to facilitate rare diseases research by enabling efficient and effective movement toward clinical trials in multiple rare diseases. The purpose of this NOFO is to provide support for basket clinical trials of drugs targeting shared molecular etiologies in more than one rare disease, and in the process to identify and overcome challenges in adapting the oncology basket trial model to rare diseases. Projects proposed for this NOFO will require individuals with expertise in carrying out clinical trials in rare diseases. Applicants are expected to collaborate with clinical investigators at academic institutions. Projects involving clinical investigators who are part of the Rare Disease Clinical Research Network (RDCRN) and which focus on diseases under study in the RDCRN are strongly encouraged. See https://www.rarediseasesnetwork.org/ for additional information.

Key Dates

Posted Date
December 01, 2023
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
December 04, 2023
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

30 days prior to the application due date

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS - New/Renewal/Resubmission/Revision, as allowed Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
January 04, 2024 January 04, 2024 Not Applicable March 2024 May 2024 July 2024
March 15, 2024 March 15, 2024 Not Applicable July 2024 October 2024 December 2024

All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

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.

Expiration Date
March 16, 2024
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the SBIR/STTR (B) Instructions in the How to Apply Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this NOFO or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts).

Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the NOFO) 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.

There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.

  1. Use the NIH ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online.
  2. Use an institutional system-to-system (S2S) solution to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and eRA Commons to track your application. Check with your institutional officials regarding availability.

  3. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.


  4. Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Notice of Funding Opportunity Description

A. Overview


While there are thousands of rare diseases, the number of underlying etiologies is much smaller. Moreover, many disease etiologies underlie multiple traditional diseases. This is most readily seen for rare monogenic diseases, where the most common etiologies include premature termination codons, protein misfolding, and abnormal RNA splicing. Other examples of rare disease shared molecular etiologies include, but are not limited to, triplet repeat expansions, epigenetic dysregulation, and signallopathies (e.g., mTOR-opathy, RAS-opathy, etc.).

Small businesses are developing drugs targeting shared molecular etiologies. However, the standard approach in clinical trials is to focus on one disease at a time, with the choice of diseases often based on prevalence. This approach inevitably results in clinical trials in only the most common rare diseases, with the exclusion of patients with the least common diseases, even though the scientific rationale for the use of the drug may be as strong, if not stronger, in the lower prevalence rare diseases.

One potential solution to this problem is to adapt the basket trial approach that has been developed for tissue agnostic oncology drugs, i.e. for clinical trials of drugs that target molecular defects common to anatomically different cancers. Notably, this approach has already resulted in regulatory approvals from the US FDA (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/fda-approves-larotrectinib-solid-tumors-ntrk-gene-fusions). One potentially important difference between oncology and rare diseases, however, is the relative diversity of clinical outcome measures in rare diseases compared to cancer.

NCATS seeks to facilitate rare diseases research by enabling efficient and effective movement toward clinical trials in multiple rare diseases. The purpose of this NOFO is to provide support for basket clinical trials of drugs targeting shared molecular etiologies in more than one rare disease, and in the process to identify and overcome challenges in adapting the oncology basket trial model to rare diseases. NCATS intends to support 1 2 clinical trials through this NOFO that could potentially provide options for multiple rare diseases.

Projects proposed for this NOFO will require individuals with expertise in carrying out clinical trials in rare diseases. Applicants are expected to collaborate with investigators at academic institutions for carrying out the proposed clinical trials. NCATS encourages projects involving clinical investigators who are part of the Rare Disease Clinical Research Network (RDCRN) and which focus on diseases under study in the RDCRN. See https://www.rarediseasesnetwork.org/ for additional information.

The funding opportunity will utilize a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) U44 cooperative agreement to support Investigational New Drug (IND) enabling studies, including translational bench/in vitro, and animal studies as necessary, to support the preparation and submission of the IND. This cooperative agreement will also support the subsequent small clinical trial, involving at least two different rare diseases.

It is expected the immediate next steps following completion of the small clinical trial supported under this cooperative agreement will be:

? future clinical trial design decisions made based on the information and data collected;
? a larger clinical trial that will lead to a marketing application; or
? a marketing application if only a small clinical trial is needed.

Applicants should provide a strong rationale supporting the use of the drug in the proposed clinical trial, including preliminary data. The application will in part be judged on presenting a credible path towards U.S. regulatory submission/Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval at the end of the SBIR.

All projects must be Fast-Track applications which include both SBIR Phase I and Phase II components. Phase I of the Fast-Track will support translational activities leading to submission of an IND to the FDA, as well as an IRB application. Phase II of the project period will support the clinical trial in rare disease patients.

The duration of Phase I of the Fast-Track will depend on the maturity of the project at entry. Only those Phase I projects that have met specific criteria (see below) will be eligible for transition to Phase II of the Fast-Track after NIH administrative review. Phase II of the Fast-Track will support a small clinical trial, as described above.

The SBIR U44 cooperative agreement mechanism is milestone-driven and involves significant input from NIH program staff regarding project and milestone planning, monitoring of research progress, and go/no-go decision-making. NIH staff may also assist investigators in familiarizing them with the regulatory development process and the criteria needed to advance drugs targeting shared molecular etiologies in rare disease patients into clinical trials.

Applicants are strongly advised to contact the Scientific/Research contact listed below prior to submission.

B. Research Scope

Projects must focus on a clinical trial of a single drug targeting a shared molecular etiology that underlies at least two different rare diseases. Examples of such shared molecular etiologies are given above. Including at least two different diseases in the clinical trial is a requirement for support under this NOFO. The drug to be studied may be a small molecule drug, biologic, or a single genetic therapy. The key point for this NOFO is that the identical drug is used for more than one disease.

Entry criteria:
For entry to the program, projects should have:

Comprehensive supporting data based on bench, in vitro, and/or in vivo models supporting efficacy in the intended rare disease patient population and indication.

Identified at least two different diseases for inclusion in the clinical trial. For both diseases, one or more valid outcome measures, based on input from both clinicians and patients, and / or supporting literature, should be specified.

A compelling case for IND submission for the clinical trial at the end of SBIR Phase I.

Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to consult with FDA via a Pre-Submission meeting prior to applying for funding through this grant mechanism.

Fast-Track Phase I scope:

Examples of studies that may be proposed during SBIR Phase I include, but are not limited to:
? Bench-top and animal testing to demonstrate proof of concept and safety.
? Activities to become current Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliant.
? Regulatory activities, including pre-submission meetings with FDA.
? Limited clinical data, e.g. safety studies in human volunteers, is also allowable during SBIR Phase I if it is necessary to support the IND submission for the small clinical trial conducted in SBIR Phase II.

Fast-Track Phase II scope:


Phase II will support the clinical trial of a single drug targeting a shared molecular etiology, including patients from at least two different diseases. Other activities in Phase II may include:
? Setting up clinical trial site agreements
? Obtaining IRB approval for the clinical trial can be done during Phase II.


Applications Not Responsive to this NOFO

The following types of studies are not responsive to this NOFO. Applications proposing such studies will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed or considered for funding.

Examples of activities non-responsive to this NOFO include:

? Basic research and studies of disease mechanisms.
? Development of outcome measures or natural history studies.
? A clinical trial of the drug in a single disease.
? Gene therapy projects involving the use of different therapeutic constructs for different diseases. However, a gene therapy project including a single therapeutic construct for multiple diseases would be responsive.
? Clinical trials to treat rare cancers. However, rare diseases which have an increased risk of cancer are allowed, as long as the primary clinical outcome measure is not carcinogenesis or tumor progression.
? Stand-alone SBIR Phase I or Phase II applications.
? Delayed onset studies that do not have a clinical trial described in the submission.

C. Milestones
Applications are expected to propose one or more milestones associated with each objective in each year of the project. Milestones are goals that measure success and efficacy that can be used for go/no-go decision-making for the project and should have quantitative criteria associated with them (see Section IV.2 for details).

Obtaining regulatory approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to proceed with the clinical trial of more than one disease is the main criterion for transitioning from Phase I to Phase II, and this milestone must be included in the application.

NIH program staff will contact the applicant to discuss and negotiate the proposed milestones and any changes suggested prior to funding the application. The final agreed upon and approved milestones will be specified in the Notice of Award (NoA). Progress towards achievement of the final set of milestones will be evaluated by NIH program staff. If justified, future milestones may be revised based on data and information obtained during the previous project period. If, based on the progress report, a funded project does not meet the milestones, funding for the project may be discontinued. In addition to milestones, the decision regarding continued funding will also be based on the overall robustness of the entire data package that adequately allows an interpretation of the results (regardless if they have been captured in the milestones), overall progress, portfolio balance and program priorities, competitive landscape, and availability of funds.

Fast-Track Phase I to Phase II transition:
An administrative review will be conducted by NIH program staff to decide whether a SBIR Phase I project will be transitioned into SBIR Phase II based on the following:

  • Successful achievement of the defined milestones for SBIR Phase I of the project
  • The most important criterion for the transition is submitting an IND for the clinical trial to the FDA, and receiving a safe to proceed notification.
  • Likelihood of success in carrying out the clinical trial
  • Distribution of rare diseases studied
  • Submission of the final clinical protocol and supporting documents to NIH for administrative review, and notification of approval by NIH
  • Agreement on updated timeline, milestones, and budget for the clinical trial.
  • Availability of funds

All award recipients will be required to submit a non-competing application two months prior to the phase 2 start date. These applications will be administratively reviewed by NIH Program staff. Recipients who have achieved the SBIR Phase I milestones will be considered eligible for funding consideration and transition to the SBIR Phase II phase.

D. Pre-application Consultation
As a U44 cooperative agreement, NIH program staff will be involved in the planning and execution of the projects. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with NIH Scientific/Research staff when planning an application. Early contact provides an opportunity for Scientific/Research staff to provide guidance on whether the proposed project meets the goals of the NOFO. Applicants should contact NCATS Scientific/Research staff at least 10 weeks before a receipt date.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

Investigators proposing NIH-defined clinical trials may refer to the Research Methods Resources website for information about developing statistical methods and study designs.

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. See Section VI.2 for additional information about the substantial involvement for this NOFO.

Application Types Allowed
New (Fast-Track)
Resubmission (Fast-Track)

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types. Only those application types listed here are allowed for the NOFO.

Clinical Trial?
Required: Only accepting applications that propose clinical trial(s)
Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NCATS intends to commit up to $2.15 M in FY 2024 towards 1 award.

Award Budget

Total funding support (direct costs, indirect costs, fee) normally may not exceed $306,872 for Phase I awards and $2,045,816 for Phase II awards. For specific topics, NIH may exceed these total award amounts. The current list of approved topics can be found at https://seed.nih.gov/sites/default/files/NIH_Topics_for_Budget_Waivers.pdf.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact program officials prior to submitting any application in excess of the total award amounts listed above and early in the application planning process. In all cases, applicants should propose a budget that is reasonable and appropriate for completion of the research project.

Award Project Period

According to statutory guidelines, award periods normally may not exceed 6 months for Phase I and 2 years for Phase II. Applicants are encouraged to propose a project duration period that is reasonable and appropriate for completion of the research project.

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

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Only United States small business concerns (SBCs) are eligible to submit applications for this opportunity. A small business concern is one that, at the time of award of Phase I and Phase II, meets all of the following criteria:

1. Is organized for profit, with a place of business located in the United States, which operates primarily within the United States or which makes a significant contribution to the United States economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor;

2. Is in the legal form of an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, joint venture, association, trust or cooperative, except that where the form is a joint venture, there must be less than 50 percent participation by foreign business entities in the joint venture;


3.

i. SBIR and STTR. Be a concern which is more than 50% directly owned and controlled by one or more individuals (who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States), other business concerns (each of which is more than 50% directly owned and controlled by individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States), an Indian tribe, ANC or NHO (or a wholly owned business entity of such tribe, ANC or NHO), or any combination of these; OR

ii. SBIR-only. Be a concern which is more than 50% owned by multiple venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, or any combination of these. No single venture capital operating company, hedge fund, or private equity firm may own more than 50% of the concern, unless that single venture capital operating company, hedge fund, or private equity firm qualifies as a small business concern that is more than 50% directly owned and controlled by individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States; OR

iii. SBIR and STTR. Be a joint venture in which each entity to the joint venture must meet the requirements set forth in paragraph 3 (i) or 3 (ii) of this section. A joint venture that includes one or more concerns that meet the requirements of paragraph (ii) of this section must comply with 121.705(b) concerning registration and proposal requirements.

4. Has, including its affiliates, not more than 500 employees.

SBIR and STTR. Be a concern which is more than 50% directly owned and controlled by one or more individuals (who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States), other business concerns (each of which is more than 50% directly owned and controlled by individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States), an Indian tribe, ANC or NHO (or a wholly owned business entity of such tribe, ANC or NHO), or any combination of these; OR SBIR-only. Be a concern which is more than 50% owned by multiple venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, or any combination of these. No single venture capital operating company, hedge fund, or private equity firm may own more than 50% of the concern, unless that single venture capital operating company, hedge fund, or private equity firm qualifies as a small business concern that is more than 50% directly owned and controlled by individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States; OR SBIR and STTR. Be a joint venture in which each entity to the joint venture must meet the requirements set forth in paragraph 3 (i) or 3 (ii) of this section. A joint venture that includes one or more concerns that meet the requirements of paragraph (ii) of this section must comply with 121.705(b) concerning registration and proposal requirements.

If the concern is more than 50% owned by multiple venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, or any combination of these falls under 3 (ii) or 3 (iii) above, see Section IV. Application and Submission Information for additional instructions regarding required application certification.

If an Employee Stock Ownership Plan owns all or part of the concern, each stock trustee and plan member is considered an owner.

If a trust owns all or part of the concern, each trustee and trust beneficiary is considered an owner.

Definitions:

  • Hedge fund has the meaning given that term in section 13(h)(2) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1851(h)(2)). The hedge fund must have a place of business located in the United States and be created or organized in the United States, or under the law of the United States or of any State.
  • Portfolio company means any company that is owned in whole or part by a venture capital operating company, hedge fund, or private equity firm.
  • Private equity firm has the meaning given the term private equity fund in section 13(h)(2) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1851(h)(2)). The private equity firm must have a place of business located in the United States and be created or organized in the United States, or under the law of the United States or of any State.
  • Venture capital operating company means an entity described in 121.103(b)(5)(i), (v), or (vi). The venture capital operating company must have a place of business located in the United States and be created or organized in the United States, or under the law of the United States or of any State.
  • ANC means Alaska Native Corporation.
  • NHO means Native Hawaiian Organization.

SBCs must also meet the other regulatory requirements found in 13 C.F.R. Part 121. Business concerns, other than investment companies licensed, or state development companies qualifying under the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, 15 U.S.C. 661, et seq., are affiliates of one another when either directly or indirectly, (a) one concern controls or has the power to control the other; or (b) a third-party/parties controls or has the power to control both. Business concerns include, but are not limited to, any individual (sole proprietorship) partnership, corporation, joint venture, association, or cooperative. The SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide should be referenced for detailed eligibility information.

Small business concerns that are more than 50% owned by multiple venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, or any combination of these are NOT eligible to apply to the NIH STTR program.

Performance Benchmark Requirements

Phase I to Phase II Transition Rate Benchmark: In accordance with guidance from the SBA, the HHS SBIR/STTR Program is implementing the Phase I to Phase II Transition Rate benchmark required by the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 and the SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022.The benchmark establishes a minimum number of Phase II awards the company must have received relative to a given number of Phase I awards received during the 5-fiscal year time period. The Transition Rate is calculated as the total number of SBIR and STTR Phase II awards a company received during the past 5 fiscal years divided by the total number of SBIR and STTR Phase I awards it received during the past 5 fiscal years excluding the most recently completed year. The Transition Rate requirement, agreed upon and established by all 11 SBIR agencies, was published for public comment in a Federal Register Notice on October 16, 2012 (77 FR 63410) and amended on May 23, 2013 (78 FR 30951).

  • For SBIR and STTR Phase I applicants that have received more than 20 Phase I awards over the past 5 fiscal years (excluding the most recently-completed fiscal year): Companies that do not meet or exceed the benchmark minimum Transition Rate of 0.25 will not be eligible to apply for a Phase I, Fast-Track, or Direct Phase II (if available) award for a period of one year from the date of the application submission.This requirement does not apply to companies that have received 20 or fewer Phase I awards over the prior 5-fiscal year period.
  • For application deadlines that fall on or after April 5, 2023: For SBIR and STTR Phase I applicants that have received more than 50 Phase I awards over the past 5 fiscal years (excluding the most recently-completed fiscal year): Companies that do not meet or exceed the benchmark minimum Transition Rate of 0.5 will not be eligible to receive more than 20 total Phase I and Phase II awards for a period of one year from the date on which such determination is made.This requirement does not apply to companies that have received 50 or fewer Phase I awards over the 5-fiscalyear period.

On June 1 of each year, SBA will identify the companies that fail to meet minimum performance requirements. SBA calculates individual company Phase I to Phase II Transition Rates using SBIR and STTR award information across all federal agencies. SBA will notify companies and the relevant officials at the participating agencies. More information on the Phase I to Phase II Transition Rate requirement is available at SBIR.gov.

Phase II to Commercialization Benchmark: In accordance with guidance from the SBA, the HHS SBIR/STTR Programs are implementing the Phase II to Commercialization Rate benchmark for Phase I applicants, as required by the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 and the SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022. The Commercialization Rate Benchmark was published in a Federal Register notice on August 8, 2013 (78 FR 48537), with a reopening of the comment period published on September 26, 2013 (78 FR 59410).

  • For companies that have received more than 15 Phase II awards from all agencies over the past 10 fiscal years (excluding the two most recently completed fiscal year): Companies that meet this criterion must show an average of at least $100,000 in revenues and/or investments per Phase II award or at least 0.15 (15%) patents per Phase II award resulting from these awards during the past 10- fiscal year period. Applicants that fail this benchmark will not be eligible to apply for New Phase I, Fast-track or Direct Phase II (if applicable) awards for a period of one year. This requirement does not apply to companies that have received 15 or fewer Phase II awards over the 10-fiscal year period, excluding the two most recently completed fiscal years.
  • For application deadlines that fall on or after April 5, 2023: For companies that have received more than 50 Phase II awards from all agencies over the past 10-fiscal years (excluding the two most recently completed Fiscal Year): Companies that meet this criterion must show an average of at least $250,000 of aggregated sales and investment per Phase II award over the past 10-fiscal year period. Applicants that fail this benchmark will not be eligible to receive more than 20 total Phase I and Phase II awards for a period of one year from the date on which such determination is made. This requirement does not apply to companies that have received 50 or fewer Phase II awards over the 10-fiscal year period, excluding the two most recently completed fiscal years.
  • For application deadlines that fall on or after April 5, 2023: For companies that have received more than 100 Phase II awards from all agencies over the past 10-fiscalyears (excluding the two most recently completed Fiscal Year): Companies that meet this criterion must show an average of at least $450,000 of aggregated sales and investment per Phase II award over the past 10-fiscal year period. Applicants that fail this benchmark will not be eligible to receive more than 20 total Phase I and Phase II awards for a period of one year from the date on which such determination is made. This requirement does not apply to companies that have received 100 or fewer Phase II awards over the 10-fiscal year period, excluding the two most recently completed fiscal years.
Foreign Organizations

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations) are not eligible to apply.

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, may be 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. Failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission, please reference NIH Grants Policy Statement 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications for additional information.

  • System for Award Management (SAM) 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.
    • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process. The same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • SBA Company Registry See How to Apply Application Guide for instructions on how to register and how to attach proof of registration to your application package. Applicants must have a UEI to complete this registration. SBA Company registration is NOT required before SAM, Grants.gov or eRA Commons registration.
  • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their Grants.gov registration; all registrations must be in place by time of submission. 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 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 diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019.

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.

Under the SBIR program, for both Phase I and Phase II, the primary employment of the PD/PI must be with the small business concern at the time of award and during the conduct of the proposed project. For projects with multiple PDs/PIs, at least one must meet the primary employment requirement. Occasionally, deviations from this requirement may occur.

The How to Apply Application Guide should be referenced for specific details on eligibility requirements. For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, see Multiple Principal Investigators section of the How to Apply Application Guide.

Projects proposed for this NOFO will require multidisciplinary efforts to succeed. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with clinical investigators who are experienced in carrying out clinical trials in rare diseases, such as those involved with the Rare Disease Clinical Research Network (RDCRN).

2. Cost Sharing

This NOFO does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 1.2 Definition of Terms.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

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

NIH will not accept similar grant applications with essentially the same research focus from the same applicant organization. This includes derivative or multiple applications that propose to develop a single product, process, or service that, with non-substantive modifications, can be applied to a variety of purposes. Applicants may not simultaneously submit identical/essentially identical applications under both this funding opportunity and any other HHS funding opportunity, including the SBIR and STTR Parent announcements.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. NIH Grants Policy Statement 2.3.7.4 Submission of Resubmission Application. 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 NIH Grants Policy Statement 2.3.9.4 Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications).

A Phase I awardee may submit a Phase II application either before or after expiration of the Phase I budget period, unless the awardee elects to submit a Phase I and Phase II application concurrently under the Fast-Track procedure. To maintain eligibility to seek Phase II or IIB support, a Phase I awardee should submit a Phase II application, and a Phase II awardee should submit a Phase IIB application, within the first six due dates following the expiration of the Phase I or II budget period, respectively.

Contractual/Consortium Arrangements

In Phase I, normally, two-thirds or 67% of the research or analytical effort is carried out by the small business concern. The total amount of all consultant and contractual arrangements to third parties for portions of the scientific and technical effort is generally not more than 33% of the total amount requested (direct, F&A/indirect, and fee).

In Phase II, normally, one-half or 50% of the research or analytical effort is carried out by the small business concern. The total amount of consultant and contractual arrangements to third parties for portions of the scientific and technical effort is generally not more than 50% of the total Phase II amount requested (direct, F&A/indirect, and fee).

Deviations from these requirements may be considered on a case by case basis. Please contact the agency SBIR Program Manager/Coordinator for additional information. Deviations must be approved in writing by the Grants Management Officer (GMO) after consultation with the agency SBIR Program Manager/Coordinator.
A small business concern may subcontract a portion of its SBIR or STTR award to a Federal laboratory within the limits above. A Federal laboratory, as defined in 15 U.S.C. 3703, means any laboratory, any federally funded research and development center, or any center established under 15 U.S.C. 3705 & 3707 that is owned, leased, or otherwise used by a Federal agency and funded by the Federal Government, whether operated by the Government or by a contractor.

The basis for determining the percentage of work to be performed by each of the cooperative parties in Phase I or Phase II will be the total of the requested costs attributable to each party, unless otherwise described and justified in Consortium/Contractual Arrangements of the PHS 398 Research Plan component of SF424 (R&R) application forms.

Additional details are contained in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace are available in Part 1 of this NOFO. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the SBIR/STTR (B) Instructions in the How to Apply Application Guide, except where instructed in this notice of funding opportunity 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.

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:

NCATS Letters of Intent
Telephone: 301-827-9549
Email: ncatslettersofintent@mail.nih.gov

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the How to Apply Application Guideand the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the How to Apply Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this NOFO.

SF424(R&R) Cover

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

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

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

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

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

Other Attachments:

1. SBIR Application Certification for small business concerns majority-owned by multiple venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, or private equity firms

Applicant small business concerns that are majority-owned by multiple venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, or private equity firms (e.g. majority VCOC-owned) are required to submit a Certification at time of their application submission per the SBIR Policy Directive. Follow the instructions below.

Applicants small business concerns who are more than 50% directly owned and controlled by one or more individuals (who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States), other business concerns (each of which is more than 50% directly owned and controlled by individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States), or any combination of these (i.e. NOT majority VCOC-owned) should NOT fill out this certification and should NOT attach it to their application package.

  1. Download the VCOC Certification.pdf at the NIH SBIR Forms webpage.
  1. Answer the 3 questions and check the certification boxes.
  1. The authorized business official must sign the certification.
  1. Save the certification using the original file name. The file must be named SBIR Application VCOC Certification.pdf . DO NOT CHANGE OR ALTER THE FILE NAME. Changing the file name may cause delays in the processing of your application.
  1. When you are completing the application package, attach this certification as a separate file by clicking "Add Attachments" located to the right of Other Attachments field on the Research and Related Other Project Information form.

2. Milestone Plan:

Applications must include a Milestone Plan that addresses both Phase 1 and Phase 2 Fast-Track activities. The Milestone plan should:

Provide a detailed timeline for the anticipated attainment of each milestone and the overall goal. Identify any impediments that could require an addendum to the research plan, milestones, or timeline with a discussion of alternative approaches.

A timeline (Gantt chart) including milestones is required for all studies, both Fast-Track Phase 1 and Phase 2. Yearly quantitative milestones are required in order to provide clear indicators of a project's continued success.

The filename "Milestone Plan-PI-NAME.pdf" should be used, must not exceed 50 characters, and will be reflected in the final image bookmarking for easy access by reviewers. The Milestone Plan is limited to 3 pages.

Applications that do not include the Milestone Plan will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile Expanded

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

R&R Budget

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

R&R Subaward Budget

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

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

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

PHS 398 Research Plan

SBIR/STTR Information Form

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

Specific Aims:

Include aims delineated for the Fast-Track SBIR Phase I and SBIR Phase II clinical trial.
A scientific hypothesis is not required nor expected for work of this nature.

Research Strategy:

Background

Describe the shared molecular etiology targeted by the drug, supporting its use in the clinical trial of more than one disease.

Describe the scientific rationale supporting the use of the drug in the clinical trial, including preliminary data. This data may be obtained from in vitro studies, as well as one or more in vivo animal models representative of the intended patient population, and/or information in the published scientific literature.

Fast-Track SBIR Phase I: Non-clinical activities in Fast-Track SBIR Phase I must include:

A description of all non-clinical testing necessary to support the filing of an IND and to obtain IRB approval for the clinical trial, including the standards to which the testing will comply (e.g., Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), etc.

Plans for contact with and submissions to the FDA in the form of pre-submission meetings and IND submissions

Plans for animal studies required by the FDA to support an IND, if necessary.

The development of in vitro assays to identify individuals for inclusion in the clinical trial.

A project timeline in the form of a Gantt chart, with milestones included, to obtain an IND to conduct the clinical trial.

A Fast-Track Phase I Milestone Plan is required as a separate attachment (see Other Project Information section)

Fast-Track SBIR Phase II: Clinical Trial

Describe the clinical characteristics, and projected number of patients with each of the proposed diseases that will be studied in the clinical trial.

For each disease, identify one or more clinically valid outcome measures, based on prior natural history data, input from both clinicians and patients, and supporting literature. Outcome measures may include surrogate endpoints (e.g. biomarkers) that are thought to predict clinical benefit but are not direct measures of clinical benefit.

Discuss the plan for addressing how clinical trial outcome measures for the different diseases will be addressed in the study design and in planned statistical analyses.

Discuss the feasibility of conducting the proposed basket clinical trial, anticipated challenges, and proposed solutions.

Outline the respective roles of the small business employees and clinical investigators.

Discuss the plans for data management and statistical analysis, taking into account small samples sizes expected in rare disease trials.

Fast-Track SBIR Phase II research strategy for the clinical trial, including milestones and timeline, should also be included in the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information forms.

A Fast-Track Phase II Milestone Plan is required as a separate attachment (see Other Project Information section).


Letters of Support:

Include letters of support from the technology transfer officials who will be managing intellectual property associated with this project at each Institution.

Include letters of support from each clinical investigator who will be involved with carrying out the clinical trial.

Resource Sharing Plans:

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Other Plan(s)

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

  • All applicants planning research (funded or conducted in whole or in part by NIH) that results in the generation of scientific data are required to comply with the instructions for the Data Management and Sharing Plan. All Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) applicants are required to address a Data Management and Sharing Plan, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year. However, SBIR and STTR recipients may retain the rights to data generated during the performance of an SBIR or STTR award for up to 20 years after the award date, per the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Policy Directive. An acceptable Data Management and Sharing plan can reference and incorporate these data rights. Further information about SBIR and STTR data rights are enumerated in the NIH GPS.

Appendix:

Note that Phase I SBIR/STTR Appendix materials are not permitted. Only limited items are allowed in the Appendix of other small business applications. The instructions for the Appendix of the Research Plan are described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide Instructions.

SBIR/STTR Information Form

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

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

If you answered Yes to the question Are Human Subjects Involved? on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or Delayed Onset Study record.

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start). All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS Assignment Request Form

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

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and time. 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. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

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 and time. If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.9.2 Electronically Submitted Applications.

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 How to Apply Application Guide.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. 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 Section 7.9.1 Selected Items of Cost.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR 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 How to Apply Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile form. 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.

The applicant organization must ensure that the unique entity identifier provided on the application is the same identifier 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 NCATS, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed and will not be eligible for award.

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NCATS Referral Office by email at ncatsreferral@mail.nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the NOFO number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

A proposed Clinical Trial application may include study design, methods, and intervention that are not by themselves innovative but address important questions or unmet needs. Additionally, the results of the clinical trial may indicate that further clinical development of the intervention is unwarranted or lead to new avenues of scientific investigation.

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 and proposed product or service address an important problem, a critical barrier to progress, or unmet need in the field? Is the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project rigorous? 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 and commercialization of the resulting product or service change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Does the proposed project have commercial potential to lead to a marketable product, process or service? (In the case of Phase II, Fast-Track, and Phase II Competing Renewals, does the Commercialization Plan demonstrate a high probability of commercialization? How strong is the described market opportunity in the Commercialization Plan including: (i) the product or service being developed; (ii) target customers; and (iii) how the product will solve a demonstrated customer need?

Specific to this NOFO: How strong is the scientific rationale and preliminary data supporting the use of the drug in the clinical trial? Consider the strength of the rationale for the grouping of two or more different rare diseases to be included in the clinical trial?

Are the scientific rationale and need for a clinical trial to test the proposed hypothesis or intervention well supported by preliminary data, clinical and/or preclinical studies, or information in the literature or knowledge of biological mechanisms? For trials focusing on clinical or public health endpoints, is this clinical trial necessary for testing the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of an intervention that could lead to a change in clinical practice, community behaviors or health care policy? For trials focusing on mechanistic, behavioral, physiological, biochemical, or other biomedical endpoints, is this trial needed to advance the proposed product or service?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project and will they devote sufficient effort to successfully complete the proposed aims? Do the PD(s)/PI(s) have appropriate experience and training to lead this project? If so, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments in 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? For projects in later stages, does the team have expertise to commercialize the technology/service/product?

Specific to this NOFO: To what extent do the clinical investigators involved in the project have appropriate expertise for carrying out clinical trials in the proposed rare diseases? To what extent are the respective roles of the small business and clinical investigators clear and appropriate for the conduct of the clinical trial? Does the project include individuals with expertise in clinical trial design and statistical analysis in rare disease trials with small patient populations?

With regard to the proposed leadership for the project, do the PD/PI(s) and key personnel have the expertise, experience, and ability to organize, manage and implement the proposed clinical trial and meet milestones and timelines? Do they have appropriate expertise in study coordination, data management and statistics? For a multicenter trial, is the organizational structure appropriate and does the application identify a core of potential center investigators and staffing for a coordinating center?

Innovation

Does the proposed product or service represent an innovative approach to addressing an important problem, barrier to progress, or unmet need in research or clinical practice? Does the end product or service proposed in application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms? Will the end product or service proposed have significant advantages over existing approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions or those in development?

In the case of Phase II, Fast-Track, and Phase II Competing Renewals, does the small business present a reasonable plan to create a temporal barrier against other companies aiming to provide a similar solution, including protecting the intellectual property relevant to the product and technology(ies) being studied or used during the project?

Does the design/research plan include innovative elements, as appropriate, that enhance its sensitivity, potential for information or potential to advance scientific knowledge or clinical practice?

Approach

Are the research aims appropriate for the current stage of development? Do the aims represent the necessary steps to further advance the development of the product or service? Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? 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? For a Phase I application, are there clear, appropriate, measurable goals (milestones) that should be achieved prior to initiating Phase II? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

For a Fast-Track, Are there clear, appropriate, measurable goals (milestones) that should be achieved prior to initiating Phase II? Will successful completion of the research aims significantly advance development of the proposed product or service toward eventual commercialization?

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 individuals of all ages (including children and older adults), justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

Specific to this NOFO: How well justified and feasible are the plans for addressing different clinical outcome measures in the different diseases, including statistical analyses?

For both SBIR Phase I and II, how realistic and feasible are the proposed timelines and milestones?

Study Design

How well justified and appropriate are the primary and secondary clinical trial outcome measures for assessing the hypothesis being tested? Is the scientific rationale/premise of the study supported by previous preclinical and/or clinical research?

How well supported are the plans for recruiting and retaining a sufficient number of patients with the targeted rare diseases, to ensure the outcomes are meaningful?

How appropriate are the plans to standardize, assure quality of, and monitor adherence to the trial protocol and data collection or distribution guidelines?

Data Management and Statistical Analysis

How well justified and feasible are the plans for addressing different clinical outcome measures in the different diseases?

To what extent do the statistical analysis plans appropriately assess the outcomes for each rare disease being targeted?

Does the application adequately address the following, if applicable:

Study Design

Is the study design justified and appropriate to address primary and secondary outcome variable(s)/endpoints that will be clear, informative and relevant to the hypothesis being tested? Is the scientific rationale/premise of the study based on previously well-designed preclinical and/or clinical research? Given the methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions, is the study design adequately powered to answer the research question(s), test the proposed hypothesis/hypotheses, and provide interpretable results? Is the trial appropriately designed to conduct the research efficiently? Are the study populations (size, gender, age, demographic group), proposed intervention arms/dose, and duration of the trial, appropriate and well justified?

Are potential ethical issues adequately addressed? Is the process for obtaining informed consent or assent appropriate? Is the eligible population available? Are the plans for recruitment outreach, enrollment, retention, handling dropouts, missed visits, and losses to follow-up appropriate to ensure robust data collection? Are the planned recruitment timelines feasible and is the plan to monitor accrual adequate? Has the need for randomization (or not), masking (if appropriate), controls, and inclusion/exclusion criteria been addressed? Are differences addressed, if applicable, in the intervention effect due to sex/gender and race/ethnicity?

Are the plans to standardize, assure quality of, and monitor adherence to, the trial protocol and data collection or distribution guidelines appropriate? Is there a plan to obtain required study agent(s)? Does the application propose to use existing available resources, as applicable?

Data Management and Statistical Analysis

Are planned analyses and statistical approach appropriate for the proposed study design and methods used to assign participants and deliver interventions? Are the procedures for data management and quality control of data adequate at clinical site(s) or at center laboratories, as applicable? Have the methods for standardization of procedures for data management to assess the effect of the intervention and quality control been addressed? Is there a plan to complete data analysis within the proposed period of the award?

Environment

Will the scientific and business environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success and eventual commercialization? Are the small business 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 arrangement?

For a Phase I, does the company have appropriate business expertise and resources, or have they identified appropriate business resources, to accomplish the aims of this project and support commercialization of the proposed product or service?

For a Phase II or Fast-Track, does the applicant have access to the business experts and resources needed to accomplish the aims of this project and to commercialize the proposed product or service?

Specific to this NOFO: If proposed, how appropriate are the administrative, data coordinating, enrollment and laboratory/testing centers for the trial proposed?
How strong is the evidence that the investigators can: (1) enroll the proposed numbers; (2) adhere to the protocol; and (3) collect and analyze data in an accurate and timely fashion?

Additional Review Criteria

Study Timeline

To what extent is the study timeline, including start-up activities, the anticipated rate of enrollment, and planned follow-up assessment feasible and well justified? How well have the investigators considered the potential challenges and corresponding solutions (e.g., strategies that can be implemented in the event of enrollment shortfalls)?

Phase II Applications

Not Applicable.

Phase I/Phase II Fast-Track Applications

For Phase I/Phase II Fast-Track Applications, reviewers will consider the following:

1. Does the Phase I application specify clear, appropriate, measurable goals (milestones) that should be achieved prior to initiating Phase II?

2. To what extent was the applicant able to obtain letters of interest, additional funding commitments, and/or resources from the private sector or non-SBIR/STTR funding sources that would enhance the likelihood for commercialization?

Commercialization (Phase II and Fast-Track Only)

For Phase II and Phase I/Phase II Fast-Track Applications, reviewers will consider the following:

How well does the applicant present the market opportunity, including market segments, that its product or technology will address? Does the applicant understand the barriers to commercialization of its product or service (e.g., regulatory approval, insurance reimbursement, competitive products, customer preferences)? Does the applicant have appropriate strategies to address these barriers?

Does the applicant provide appropriate post-SBIR product development and commercialization milestones and explain how it will achieve these milestones? Does the applicant present a plan for funding the development and commercialization of the product or service? If applicable, did the applicant obtain letters of interest or commitment for such funding and/or resources?

Are the small business executives, management team, and business experts well suited to advance the development and commercialization of the proposed product or service? If not, is there a plan in place to add the necessary expertise as the product advances towards commercialization?

Is there a sound strategy for driving product adoption and generating revenue from the product or service (e.g., product sales, licensing, partnerships)?

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the 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 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 Individuals Across the Lifespan

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 individuals of all ages (including children and older adults) 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 three points: (1) a complete description of all proposed procedures including the species, strains, ages, sex, and total numbers of animals to be used; (2) justifications that the species is appropriate for the proposed research and why the research goals cannot be accomplished using an alternative non-animal model; and (3) interventions including analgesia, anesthesia, sedation, palliative care, and humane endpoints that will be used to limit any unavoidable discomfort, distress, pain and injury in the conduct of scientifically valuable research. Methods of euthanasia and justification for selected methods, if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals, is also required but is found in a separate section of the application. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals Section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animals 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

For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.

Phase IIB Competing 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 with Foreign Components

Reviewers will consider whether work to be performed outside of the United States is thoroughly justified, based on a rare and unique circumstance, and necessary to the overall completion of the project.

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 Resource Sharing Plan(s) (e.g., Sharing Model Organisms) or the rationale for not sharing the resources, is reasonable.

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

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 NCATS, 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 committee 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.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications 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 NOFO. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the NCATS Advisory 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.
  • Security risk as assessed by the HHS Due Diligence Program
  • Disclosure Requirements Regarding Ties to Foreign Countries

    Upon request applicants are required to disclose all funded and unfunded relationships with foreign countries, using the Required Disclosures of Foreign Affiliations or Relationships to Foreign Countries form (referred to as the Disclosure Form hereafter), for all owners and covered individuals. A covered individual is defined as all senior key personnel identified by the SBC in the application (i.e., individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way).

    Upon request, applicants must submit the completed Disclosure Form and any additional agency-specific information electronically in eRA Commons via the Just-In-Time (JIT) process as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement (GPS) Section 2.5.1 Just-in-Time Procedures. Applicants must continue to comply with NIH Other Support disclosure requirements as provided in NIH GPS Section 2.5.1 and may be required to provide similar information on the Disclosure Form for covered individuals identified in the application. If participating in this NOFO, SBC applicants applying to CDC and FDA will follow each agency’s policies for submitting additional documents during the pre-award process. Applicants that do not submit the completed Disclosure Form during the JIT process will be deemed noncompliant and not be considered for funding.

    Denial of Awards

    Applicants are encouraged to consider whether their entity’s relationships with foreign countries of concern will pose a security risk. Prior to issuing an award, NIH, CDC, and FDA will determine whether the SBC submitting the application:

    • has an owner or covered individual that is party to a malign foreign talent recruitment program;
    • has a business entity, parent company, or subsidiary located in the People’s Republic of China or another foreign country of concern; or
    • has an owner or covered individual that has a foreign affiliation with a research institution located in the People’s Republic of China or another foreign country of concern.

    A finding of foreign involvement with countries of concern will not necessarily disqualify an applicant. Final award determinations will be based on the above finding of foreign involvement and whether the applicant’s involvement falls within any of the following risk criteria, per the Act:

    • interfere with the capacity for activities supported by NIH, CDC, or FDA to be carried out;
    • create duplication with activities supported by NIH, CDC, or FDA;
    • present concerns about conflicts of interest;
    • were not appropriately disclosed to NIH, CDC, or FDA;
    • violate Federal law or terms and conditions of NIH, CDC, or FDA; or
    • pose a risk to national security.

    Generally, NIH, CDC, and FDA will not provide SBC applicants the opportunity to address any identified security risks prior to award. NIH, CDC, and FDA will not issue an award under the SBIR/STTR program if the covered relationship with a foreign country of concern identified in this guidance is determined to fall under any of the criteria provided.

    3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

    After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access their Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date.

    Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.4.4 Disposition of Applications.

    Section VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices

    If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" (JIT) information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. SBIR and STTR applicants under consideration for award will be required to submit the SBA U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued the Required Disclosures of Foreign Affiliations or Relationships to Foreign Countries form during the JIT process. Applicants that fail to submit a Disclosure Form will not be considered for funding.

    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 recipient's business official.

    Recipients must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.6. 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 NOFO 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.

    Individual awards are based on the application submitted to, and as approved by, the NIH and are subject to the IC-specific terms and conditions identified in the NoA.

    ClinicalTrials.gov: If an award provides for one or more clinical trials. By law (Title VIII, Section 801 of Public Law 110-85), the "responsible party" must register and submit results information for certain applicable clinical trials on the ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration and Results System Information Website (https://register.clinicaltrials.gov). NIH expects registration and results reporting of all trials whether required under the law or not. For more information, see https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/reporting/index.htm

    Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Recipient institutions must ensure that all protocols are reviewed by their IRB or IEC. To help ensure the safety of participants enrolled in NIH-funded studies, the recipient must provide NIH copies of documents related to all major changes in the status of ongoing protocols.

    Data and Safety Monitoring Requirements: The NIH policy for data and safety monitoring requires oversight and monitoring of all NIH-conducted or -supported human biomedical and behavioral intervention studies (clinical trials) to ensure the safety of participants and the validity and integrity of the data. Further information concerning these requirements is found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/hs/data_safety.htm and in the application instructions (SF424 (R&R) and PHS 398).

    Investigational New Drug or Investigational Device Exemption Requirements: Consistent with federal regulations, clinical research projects involving the use of investigational therapeutics, vaccines, or other medical interventions (including licensed products and devices for a purpose other than that for which they were licensed) in humans under a research protocol must be performed under a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational new drug (IND) or investigational device exemption (IDE).

    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, Recipients, and Activities, including of note, but not limited to:

    If a recipient is successful and receives a Notice of Award, in accepting the award, the recipient agrees that any activities under the award are subject to all provisions currently in effect or implemented during the period of the award, other Department regulations and policies in effect at the time of the award, and applicable statutory provisions.

    If a recipient receives an award, the recipient must follow all applicable nondiscrimination laws. The recipient agrees to this when registering in SAM.gov. The recipient must also submit an Assurance of Compliance (HHS-690). To learn more, see the HHS Office for Civil Rights website.

    HHS recognizes that NIH research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research. For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this NOFO.

    In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR Part 200.206 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants. This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.

    Report fraud, waste and abuse

    The Office of Inspector General Hotline accepts tips from all sources about potential fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement in Department of Health & Human Services programs. The reporting individual should indicate that the fraud, waste and/or abuse concerns an SBIR/STTR grant or contract, if relevant. Report Fraud.

    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 (HHS) grant administration regulations at 2 CFR Part 200, 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 recipients 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 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 recipients for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the recipients and NIH as defined below.

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

    • Defining research objectives and approaches, and planning, conducting, analyzing, and publishing results, interpretations, and conclusions of their studies, and providing overall scientific and administrative leadership for the Research Project.
    • Overseeing all aspects of the organization and execution of the studies outlined in the application and approved by NCATS after peer review.
    • Putting all study materials and procedure manuals into the public domain. Recipients 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 NCATS/NIH.
    • Obtaining prior written approval of the NCATS Grants Management Specialist in consultation with the NCATS Project Collaborator for any change in any of the key personnel identified in the NoA.
    • Recipients will be responsible for all aspects of their study, including any modification of study design, the 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 recipient agrees to accept close coordination, cooperation, and participation of NCATS staff in those aspects of scientific and technical management of the study as stated in these terms and conditions.
    • At each scheduled interim review, compare actual results to the benchmarks and criteria identified in the application and negotiated prior to award; recipients who do not accomplish the negotiated milestones shall submit a milestone report which will include a discussion of why the milestones were not met in the agreed-upon timeframe, and propose a corrective recruitment action plan. The corrective recruitment action plan shall include but is not limited to: amended milestones, plans to achieve the amended milestones, and any additional items required by NCATS staff. The plan shall be provided to NCATS staff no later than 2 months following the missed milestone.
    • Recipients 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 HHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

    Under this cooperative agreement, NIH staff has substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards.

    The NIH Program Official/Project Coordinator (PO/PC), also known as the Project Collaborator, will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award. The NCATS Project Collaborator will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

    • The PO/PC will negotiate with the applicant and agree on a final set of approved milestones which will be specified in the Notice of Award.
    • At each scheduled interim review, compare actual results to the benchmarks and criteria identified in the application and negotiated prior to award. Review and advise on submitted corrective recruitment action plans including but not limited to: amended milestones, plans to achieve the amended milestones, and any additional items required . Oversee the adequacy of adverse event management and reporting and have regular communications with the PD/PI and study team, which may include attendance at the DSMB and related committee meetings.
    • Have access to data generated under this Cooperative Agreement and may periodically review the data and progress reports. NCATS staff may use information obtained from the data for the preparation of internal reports on the activities of the study. However, recipients will retain custody of and have primary rights to all data developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with HHS, PHS, and NIH policies.
    • Review the progress of the study, and of each participating facility, through consideration of the annual reports, site visits, volunteer logs, 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.
    • Facilitate coordination among the NCATS- and other NIH-supported clinical trials networks and research groups, clinical research support programs, and other U.S. Government agencies, promoting collaborations and facilitating information exchange.
    • Provide guidance and support in the development, assembly, and submission of all required regulatory documents, e.g., those regarding the use of investigational drugs, to the Food and Drug Administration.
    • Enlist additional technical experts as necessary from within the NIH, and other government agencies, such as the FDA, to review scientific progress and administrative accomplishments to ensure compliance with NIH policies and procedures.

    Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

    For those projects where milestones are appropriate, e.g., clinical studies, negotiation of project milestones between the NIH Program Official and the PD/PI.

    Dispute Resolution:

    Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and 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 recipient. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the recipient'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. Data Management and Sharing

    Consistent with the 2023 NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, when data management and sharing is applicable to the award, recipients will be required to adhere to the Data Management and Sharing requirements as outlined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Upon the approval of a Data Management and Sharing Plan, it is required for recipients to implement the plan as described. SBIR and STTR recipients may retain the rights to data generated during the performance of an SBIR or STTR award for up to 20 years after the award date, per the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Policy Directive. An acceptable Data Management and Sharing plan can reference and incorporate these data rights. Further information about SBIR and STTR data rights are enumerated in the NIH GPS.

    4. Reporting

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


    NIH requires that SBIR/STTR recipients submit the following reports within 120 days of the end of the grant budget period unless the recipient is under an extension.

    Failure to submit timely final reports may affect future funding to the organization or awards with the same PD/PI. NIH NOFOs outline intended research goals and objectives. Post award, NIH will review and measure performance based on the details and outcomes that are shared within the RPPR, as described at 2 CFR 200.301.

    The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 as amended (FFATA), includes a requirement for recipients of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All recipients 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 the threshold. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

    In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 2 CFR Part 200, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM)about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period. The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS). This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313). As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available. Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in 2 CFR Part 200 Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

    Disclosure of Foreign Relationships Reporting Requirements

    Recipients are responsible for monitoring their relationships with foreign countries of concern post-award, for any changes that may impact previous disclosures. SBCs receiving an award under the SBIR/STTR program are required to submit an updated Disclosure Form to report any of the following changes to NIH, CDC, and FDA throughout the duration of the award:

    • any change to a disclosure on the Disclosure Form;
    • any material misstatement that poses a risk to national security; and
    • any change of ownership, change to entity structure, or other substantial change in circumstances of the SBC that NIH, CDC, and FDA determine poses a risk to national security.

    Regular, annual updates are required at the time of all SBIR/STTR annual, interim, and final Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs). For changes that occur between RPPR submissions, updated Disclosure Forms are required within 30 days of any change in ownership, entity structure, covered individual, or other substantive changes in circumstance, as described above. Recipients are required to upload these updated disclosures using the Additional Materials (AM) tool in eRA Commons.

    If the recipient reports a covered foreign relationship that meets any of the risk criteria prohibiting funding described in this NOFO, NIH, CDC, and FDA may deem it necessary to terminate the award for material failure to comply with the federal statutes, regulations, or terms and conditions of the federal award. Refer to NIH GPS Section 8.5.2 Remedies for Noncompliance or Enforcement Actions: Suspension, Termination, and Withholding of Support for more information. Recipients are encouraged to monitor their covered foreign relationships post-award and avoid entering into relationships, both funded and unfunded, that may pose a security risk and jeopardize their ability to retain their award.


    Agency Recovery Authority and Repayment of Funds

    An SBC will be required to repay all amounts received from NIH, CDC, and FDA under the award if either of the following determinations are made upon assessment of a change to their disclosure:

    • the SBC makes a material misstatement that NIH, CDC, and FDA determine poses a risk to national security; or
    • there is a change in ownership, change in entity structure, or other substantial change in circumstances of the SBC that NIH, CDC, and FDA determine poses a risk to national security.

    The repayment requirements and procedures provided in Section 8.5.4 Recovery of Funds of the NIH GPS apply and may also be subject to additional noncompliance and enforcement actions as described in Section 8.5.2 of the GPS. Recipients are required to follow the repayment procedures provided in the Guidance for Repayment of Grant Funds to the NIH.

    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 Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, and post-submission issues)

    Finding Help Online: https://www.era.nih.gov/need-help (preferred method of contact)
    Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

    General Grants Information (Questions regarding application instructions, application processes, and NIH grant resources)
    Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
    Telephone: 301-637-3015

    Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
    Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
    Email: support@grants.gov

    SBA Company Registry (Questions regarding required registration at the SBA Company Registry and for technical questions or issues)
    Website to Email: http://sbir.gov/feedback?type=reg

    Scientific/Research Contact(s)

    P.J. Brooks, Ph.D.
    National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
    Telephone: 301-443-0513
    Email: pjbrooks@mail.nih.gov

    Meena Rajagopal, Ph.D.
    Program Officer, NCATS SBIR/STTR Program
    National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
    Phone: 301-827-1921
    Email: meena.rajagopal@nih.gov

    Peer Review Contact(s)

    Marilyn Moore-Hoon, PhD
    National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
    Telephone: 301-827-9549
    Email: mooremar@nih.gov

    Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

    Erin Davis
    National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
    Telephone: 301-451-4238
    Email: erin.davis@nih.gov

    Section VIII. Other Information

    The SBIR Program is mandated by the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-219), reauthorizing legislation (P.L. 99-443) P.L. 102-564, P.L. 112-81 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011), as reauthorized and extended under P.L. 114-328, Section 1834, , and P.L. 115-232. The basic design of the NIH SBIR Program is in accordance with the Small Business Administration (SBA) SBIR Policy Directive.

    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 2 CFR Part 200.

    The SBIR Program is mandated by the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-219), reauthorizing legislation (P.L. 99-443) P.L. 102-564, P.L. 112-81 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011), as reauthorized and extended under P.L. 114-328, Section 1834, P.L. 115-232, and P.L. 117-183. The basic design of the NIH SBIR Program is in accordance with the Small Business Administration (SBA) SBIR Policy Directive.

    The STTR Program is mandated by the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-135), and reauthorizing legislation, P.L. 107-50, P.L. 112-81 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011), as reauthorized and extended under P.L. 114-328, Section 1834, P.L. 115-232, and P.L. 117-183. The basic design of the NIH STTR Program is in accordance with the Small Business Administration (SBA) STTR Policy Directive.

    NIH Office of Extramural Research Logo
    Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page
    Department of Health
    and Human Services (HHS)
    USA.gov - Government Made Easy
    NIH... Turning Discovery Into Health®


    Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.