Fast-Track proposals will be accepted.
Direct-to-Phase II will not be accepted.
Number of anticipated awards: 2–3
It is strongly suggested that proposals adhere to the above budget amounts and project periods. Proposals with budgets exceeding the above amounts and project periods may not be funded.
The deadline for receipt of all contract proposals submitted in response to this solicitation has expired it was: November 5, 2014 by 4:30 PM ET.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a subset of tumor cells that possess characteristics associated with normal stem cells. Specifically, they have the ability to self-renew, differentiate, and generate the diverse cells that comprise the tumor. CSCs have been identified and isolated in several human cancer types, including breast, brain, colon, head and neck, leukemia, liver, ovarian, pancreas, and prostate. These CSCs represent approximately 1% of the tumor as a distinct population and cause relapse and metastasis by giving rise to new tumors. While chemotherapy and other conventional cancer therapies may be more effective at killing bulk tumor cells, CSCs may manage to escape and seed new tumor growth due to the survival of quiescent CSCs. Therefore, traditional therapies often cannot completely eradicate tumors or prevent cancer recurrence and progression to metastasis. With growing evidence supporting the role of CSCs in tumorigenesis, tumor heterogeneity, resistance to chemotherapeutic and radiation therapies, and the metastatic phenotype, the development of specific therapies that target CSCs holds promise for improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients, especially those with metastatic disease.
The goal of this solicitation is to provide support for the development of novel therapeutic agents that target CSCs. These small molecules or biologics should be designed to target CSCs, CSC-related biomarkers, or CSC pathways that affect fundamental processes associated with carcinogenesis, tumor progression, maintenance, recurrence, or metastasis. Particular emphasis is placed on agents that target CSC self-renewal, regeneration, or differentiation processes. Proposals that combine the development of agents that target CSCs with conventional cancer therapy are encouraged. The long term goal of this contract topic is to enable small businesses to bring fully developed therapeutic agents that target CSCs to the clinic and eventually to the market.
To apply for this topic, offerors should: