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Alzheimer’s Innovation Award (AIA)



Program Objective


The prevention of Alzheimer’s disease is a bold aspiration; the U.S. National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s disease sets the goal to effectively treat and prevent Alzheimer’s by 2025. The Alzheimer's Association and Johnson & Johnson Innovation share this vision and have joined together to offer a unique opportunity to advance projects that are directed at translating their findings towards the development of innovative new therapeutic agents and advance efforts address the global crisis of Alzheimer’s Disease. The Bay Area has a uniquely dynamic, entrepreneurial and creative science and technology heritage, with an emphasis on the creation, commercialization and sustainment of disruptive technologies and solutions from its medical science-based companies and leading research institutes and universities.

The Alzheimer’s Innovation Award (AIA) will work with research teams in the Bay Area to seek out cutting edge concepts for the development of new therapeutic small molecule agents that can progress to the clinical treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Program Overview


What is the key to solving the Alzheimer puzzle? Results from amyloid-based clinical trials, to date, suggest that the solution to stopping or delaying Alzheimer’s disease may involve additional mechanistic approaches to tackle disease pathology. What are the shortfalls in current approaches, and what does the latest research teach us about the most promising alternate path(s) forward? In order to move forward solutions, the Alzheimer's Association and Johnson & Johnson Innovation are bringing together top academic researchers from the San Francisco Bay Area (including Davis and Santa Cruz), along with industry/ biotech professionals to discuss their research and key developments in the Alzheimer’s and related dementia field.

The Alzheimer’s Innovation Award (AIA) will target project proposals for consideration that focus on translational drug discovery through IND (or Phase 1) directly moving research findings towards the development of innovative new therapeutic agents. The program seeks innovative approaches from applicants — innovators — with an intention to advance pharmacological compounds for (i.e. experimental drugs) development; projects for Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders are welcome, provided they have translation potential to Alzheimer’s disease.

Following a review process (described below), innovator pitches deemed to be the most promising ideas will be invited to present their “pitch” to a panel of experts. The winner of this competition will receive the award — $150,000 dedicated to their research efforts. Finalists from the peer-review first round competition will be selected and notified by August 23, 2017.

Eligibility


Both non-profit and small for-profit agencies from the San Francisco Bay Area, including Santa Cruz and Davis areas, are eligible. Small for-profit organizations with <=$2MM investments (i.e. exclusion of for-profit entities with a >$2MM series A) and must provide documentation verifying status. Non-profit institutions must provide documentation verifying status. Principal investigator of the project must be a full time faculty or employee of the organization submitting the proposal. Applications from post-doctoral candidates will not be accepted. For questions as to whether an investigator or organization is eligible, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association at grantsapp@alz.org.

Ineligibility: Applications from investigators outside of the geographical area described or applications from investigators that are currently funded by the Alzheimer’s Association who are delinquent in submitting required reports and other deliverables on active grants are ineligible. Investigators that have previous Alzheimer’s Association awards closed as ‘Incomplete’ are also not eligible to apply without exception.

The Alzheimer’s Innovation Award (AIA) is jointly funded by the Alzheimer’s Association and Johnson & Johnson Innovation. By submitting this application, the applicant confirms that if selected as finalist for award, receipt of this funding does not violate any institution policies.

Submitting a Letter of Intent for the Alzheimer’s Innovation Award


All project materials (letter of intent and follow up applications for those invited) must be submitted online at proposalCENTRAL. First-time users must register and fill out a Professional Profile to begin the application process. No hard copies will be accepted.

In order to be considered, all applicants are required to submit an on-line brief letter of intent through proposalCENTRAL. Letter of intent will include basic information about the applicant, their institution/ organization, an abstract of the proposed project. Letters of intent will be reviewed to confirm applicant eligibility and adherence to the intent of the Alzheimer’s Innovation Award program.

Submitting an Application for the Alzheimer’s Innovation Award


Innovators are encouraged to submit applications based on the criteria listed below. Finalist will be selected from this open application process, based on non-confidential information, that best represent the next generation of pharmaceutical based solutions. Please complete both the letter of intent and the application by providing non-confidential information only (i.e. It is not expected that proprietary compound’s or molecular entity’s chemical structure will be included).

For those invited to submit a full application, the following additional materials will be required: (template and instructions will be provided after LOI approval, they are located under the Attachments section on proposalCENTRAL):

  • Executive summary of proposed project (1 page)
  • Work Plan (up to 5 pages, including goals/ specific aims, methods and proposed project plan)
  • Principal Investigator and Key Personnel Curriculum Vitae or Biosketch (limited to 4 pages per person)
  • Gantt Chart of proposed drug development, including specific indication of anticipated go/no-go decision steps
  • Available Resources and Budget Justification (2 page document)
    • Expenses that will not be allowed with this award include tuition for full degree programs, rent for laboratory/ office space, construction or renovation costs, facilities fees or laboratory/ supply costs not directly relevant to the project. If awarded, a full budget of planned expenses will be required.

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Fit to call the program overview and focus on Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder that has potential relevance to Alzheimer’s (20%)
  • Novelty relative to what has been previously attempted or is being tested in the clinic (20%)
  • Emphasis of the proposal to stop/ slow/ treat/ prevent the disease (20%)
  • Tractability of proposal, scientific data in support of hypothesis, credibility & experience of team (20%)
  • Clear need for funding, work plan with Gantt chart, Go/No-Go decision steps, and risk mitigation strategy (20%)

Following peer-review by qualified experts of submitted projects, up to four finalists for the Alzheimer’s Innovation Award will be invited to present their case to the audience and judges’ panel at the Innovator Night on September 19 at Gladstone Institute. These presentations will be reviewed by an expert panelist and the final award winner will receive a restricted grant of $150,000 to pursue their research. No indirect expenses are eligible with the award money. Eligibility restrictions, as described above, apply.

The Alzheimer’s Innovation Award is jointly funded by the Alzheimer’s Association and Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC. By submitting this application, the applicant confirms that if selected as finalist for the Innovation Award, receipt of this award does not violate any of its institutional policies.

Deadlines and Award Timeline


Letters of Intent (LOI) must be received by 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, June 5, 2017. Letters of Intent will not be accepted after this date. No exceptions will be made. All LOIs must be submitted online at https://proposalcentral.altum.com. No hard copies or emails will be accepted.

Applications must be received by 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, July 10, 2017. Applications will not be accepted after this date. No exceptions will be made. No hard copies or emails will be accepted.

Scientific and technical review will be conducted from July – August 2017. Invitations to the finalists of the Alzheimer’s Innovation Award competition will be invited to present at an event to be held at Gladstone Auditorium, San Francisco, CA on September 19, 2017 (3 – 6:00 p.m.). The winner of this competition will be selected during this event.

For more information: Although the Alzheimer’s Innovation Award will be jointly awarded by the Alzheimer’s Association & Johnson and Johnson Innovation, the program and its review process will be administered by the Alzheimer’s Association. For questions, contact grantsapp@alz.org.

The Alzheimer’s Innovation Award is jointly funded by the Alzheimer's Association and Johnson & Johnson.