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  • New Center to Speed Movement of Discoveries From Labs to Patients

    In a move to re-engineer the process of translating scientific discoveries into new drugs, diagnostics, and devices, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently established the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Working closely with partners in the regulatory, academic, nonprofit, and private sectors, NCATS will strive to identify and overcome hurdles that slow the development of effective treatments and cures.

    To meet the goals of NCATS, NIH is reorganizing a wide range of preclinical and clinical translational science capabilities within NIH into an integrated scientific enterprise with new leadership and a new agenda.

    NCATS will include the following programs:

    • Bridging Interventional Development Gaps, which makes available critical resources needed for the development of new therapeutic agents
    • Clinical and Translational Science Awards, which fund a national consortium of medical research institutions working together to improve the way clinical and translational research is conducted nationwide
    • Cures Acceleration Network, which enables NCATS to fund research in new and innovative ways
    • FDA-NIH Regulatory Science, which is an interagency partnership that aims to accelerate the development and use of better tools, standards, and approaches for developing and evaluating diagnostic and therapeutic products
    • Office of Rare Diseases Research, which coordinates and supports rare diseases research
    • Components of the Molecular Libraries, which is an initiative that provides researchers with access to the large-scale screening capacity necessary to identify compounds that can be used as chemical probes to validate new therapeutic targets
    • Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases, which is a program to encourage and speed the development of new drugs for rare and neglected diseases

    The formation of NCATS was a recommended by the NIH Scientific Management Review Board in December 2010 to create a new center dedicated to advancing translational science. 

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