Setting the Stage for Network Renewal
*CALL FOR LETTERS OF INTENT: BioCanRx, Canada’s Immunotherapy Network, is pleased to announce its 2019 Call for Letters of Intent. Selected Letters of Intent will be featured in the Scientific Program of our Cycle II application going forward for review in July 2019 to the federal government’s Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program.
BioCanRx is a not-for-profit organization with a mandate of accelerating innovative immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer into the clinic. BioCanRx was awarded its first, 5-year $25 million grant in 2015 from the NCE Program, with additional contributions totalling approximately $52.1M coming from partners in all sectors of the economy. Since its inception, BioCanRx has funded a total of 45 projects and 5 core facilities in the amount of approximately $15.9M with funding for this first Cycle ending March 31, 2020. This intake of project concepts is intended to ensure that the most promising immunotherapy-based products and platforms, as well as sustainable solutions for their delivery and uptake in Canada, are captured in Cycle II of BioCanRx’s Research Program.
This Letter of Intent (LOI) is your opportunity to assemble a multi-disciplinary team that will propose a research project that addresses one, or a combination of the strategic priorities described below. The strategic priorities for our Cycle II Research Program are the result of extensive consultation with our various stakeholder communities – our Board of Directors, Research Management Committee (RMC), the Cancer Stakeholder Alliance, and representatives from our community of Network Researchers. This call is open to all investigators located at Canadian institutions eligible to receive peer-reviewed funding from the three, federal research-granting councils (CIHR, SSHRC, NSERC). Successful LOIs will be invited to submit a full proposal upon confirmation of BioCanRx Cycle II funding.
Building on previous BioCanRx investments in Cycle I, the overarching goal of the Cycle II Research Program will focus on extending immunotherapy successes in the clinic beyond initial responders. To address this challenge, while making use of technologies in the BioCanRx pipeline or by soliciting new complimentary technology, BioCanRx will invest in projects aimed at understanding patient and/or tumour type limitation(s) and proposing improved novel therapies, trials, or combination approaches to overcome the identified limitation(s). This will be accomplished by:
- Identifying solid tumour targets for adoptive cell therapy
- Turning “cold” tumours “hot”
- Identifying or validating mechanisms of resistance of tumours to immunotherapy in the clinical setting (cellular, immunological, genomic, biomarkers, pathway obstacles, microenvironment)
- Biologically relevant cancer targeting (pathways, tumour microenvironment elements, immune cell subsets).
- Developing or refining combination approaches;
- Designing and Creating Multiplex Immunotherapeutics
- Early health technology assessments (HTA) and/or policy frameworks to support the development of novel biotherapeutics and/or combination therapy approaches
Research should be multidisciplinary and consider implementation in the Canadian context, whether addressing technological hurdles, commercialization hurdles, or policy/reimbursement/health system hurdles.
At this time, as BioCanRx aims to maximize the utility and success of our Cycle I investments in our current portfolio of projects, applicants should aim to develop submissions which will further aid the transition of these technologies towards clinical testing and evaluation, capitalize on the opportunity to glean translational biology from projects in or near the clinical setting, or complement the use of these therapies in clinic. Please note that as a result of the December 2018 decision to phase out the NCE program, Letters of Intent for the Enabling, Clinical Trial and CSEI programs will be considered for funding.
Please direct questions about the program and application process to Jennifer Quizi, BioCanRx Director, Scientific Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org; 613-739-6716) or Stéphanie Michaud, BioCanRx President and Chief Executive Officer) (email@example.com; 613-739-6202).