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The NIH supports animal models and related materials that are central to both understanding basic biological processes and for developing applications directly related to improving human health. DCM/ORIP-funded Resources aid these efforts by developing, characterizing, preserving and distributing high quality animals and biological materials that are used by researchers in all disciplines of biomedical research. Animal Resources require many aspects of infrastructure to serve this function. For example, optimal husbandry, including caging and other equipment, is required to maintain animals as healthy stocks that can be distributed to researchers. Animals within Resources are characterized in regard to genetic, phenotypic and health-related characteristics. The health status of animals can be threatened by opportunistic and emerging pathogens associated with maintenance and reproduction of living stocks. Animals are often preserved, either as living stocks within breeding colonies, or as cryopreserved germ plasm. Therefore, animal models are under continuous development and improvement to meet emerging challenges and scientific needs. All of these functions within animal-based Resources can benefit greatly from commercial availability of key components, such as hardware (e.g., equipment, instruments, devices), software (e.g., computational models, informatics tools, data analytic methods and resources, data repositories) and wetware (e.g., cell-free assays, bioactive agents, imaging probes). Companies can help develop innovative approaches to modifying models to meet new biomedical challenges and needs.
This FOA encourages Small Business Concerns (SBCs) to develop innovative technologies that can facilitate the missions of the DCM-supported Resources. The supported research and development will likely require close collaboration between the SBCs and the Resources.
The animal models and biological materials to be developed must address the research interests of two or more of the categorical NIH Institutes and Centers. In addition, projects that predominantly address the research interests of one NIH Institute or Center, but that are peripherally related to the research interests of other Institutes and Centers, will not be considered appropriate for this FOA. An example of an inappropriate request is one exclusively involving an animal model of cancer or some other specific disease.
DCM/ORIP encourages STTR applications aimed at improving all aspects of animal models, including, but not limited to, enhancing or developing the following: