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NIH Blueprint empowers drug development for nervous system disorders
Date:8/18/2011

The National Institutes of Health has made awards to investigators across the United States for an ambitious set of projects seeking to develop new drugs for disorders of the nervous system.

The projects aimed at treating conditions such as vision loss, neurodegenerative disease and depression are funded through the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research. The NIH Blueprint pulls together 15 of the agency's institutes and centers, leveraging their resources to confront major, cross-cutting challenges in neuroscience research. The Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (www.neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov/bpdrugs/index.htm) will serve as a resource enabling investigators to develop new drugs for nervous system disorders and prepare them for clinical trials, and will be funded at up to $50 million over five years.

For decades, public funding from NIH has helped academic labs and small businesses use their ingenuity to pursue new strategies for treating nervous system disorders. However, many labs often lack the resources time, money, scientific staff, and regulatory expertise to turn a promising strategy into an effective treatment. The new initiative places these investigators at the helm of an expert drug development team that includes pharmaceutical industry consultants and service contractors.

"The Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network will pair neuroscientists with experts in therapy development, and enable them to pursue their most exciting ideas for new drugs without having to redirect the focus of their laboratories," said Story Landis, Ph.D., director of NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), which is a member of the NIH Blueprint.

Nervous system disorders affect tens of millions of Americans, and there is a substantial unmet need for treatment. But the process for developing new drug therapies is costly and carrie
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Contact: Daniel Stimson
stimsond@ninds.nih.gov
301-496-5751
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Source:Eurekalert

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