2019 Request for Research Proposals

THE 2019 MPN CHALLENGE

A grant program supported jointly by the MPN Research Foundation
and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Call for Proposals:  01/07/2019

The MPN Research Foundation (MPNRF), with support from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) are proud to announce The 2019 MPN Challenge, a grant program whose objective is to fund research that will disrupt progression of disease and help lead the way to better therapies and eventually a cure for patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), including MF, PV and ET.  This program represents an important partnership between MPNRF and LLS, who share a mission to advance the scientific understanding of MPNs and bring new treatments and the hope for a cure to patients with these rare diseases.

The primary goal of the MPN Research Foundation’s research strategy is 1) accelerate access to high quality, effective and even curative therapies for people living with MPNs and 2) to understand and control the progression of the MPNs from chronic to life-threatening stages.

Description of the 2019 MPN Challenge Grant Program

With the 2019 MPN Challenge Grant Program we aim to stimulate innovative and clinically relevant research that has the highest potential for near-term patient impact.  We seek to expand upon current understanding of the basic biology of the MPNs, develop a deeper understanding of what is driving the development and progression of the disease and address critical gaps slowing the development of new therapeutic approaches.  

Focus Areas for 2019
Criteria for Evaluation
Term of Grant
Provisions Related to Intellectual Property
Key Dates
Application Process

Focus Area for 2019 Challenge Grants

1. Immunotherapeutic approaches for MPNs – Proposals that specifically focus on emerging translational research addressing critical gaps that are slowing the development of immunotherapeutic therapies for patients with MPNs.

2. Targeting the driver mutations associated with MPN - Proposals aimed at understanding the importance of the driver mutations (primarily JAK2, CALR, and MPL) in MPNs.

3. New mechanisms of action - Proposals for basic research and preclinical testing of new and innovative mechanisms of action other than those mentioned above (e.g., new targets or pathways), to develop sufficient data to allow for other funding options as the next step to further support these new approaches. 

4. Repurposing existing FDA-approved drugs for use in MPN - Proposals that will leverage drugs already approved by the FDA in an application relevant to relieving the symptom burden, modifying the overall disease and ultimately improving and extending lives of people with an MPN.

5. Development of biomarkers of disease progression – Proposals that will establish and validate new/novel early biomarkers of progression of disease in the MPNs.

6. Stem cell transplantation – Proposals focusing on research that will make transplants safer and more effective.

7. Quality of life research – Proposals focusing on research to further understand disease symptom burden and its impact on the quality of life for patients with MPNs.

Criteria for Evaluation

Proposals will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Relevance to mission and goals of accelerating access to high quality, effective and even curative therapies for people living with Polycythemia Vera, Essential Thrombocythemia and Myelofibrosis.
  • Innovation. We favor proposals designed to allow initial exploration of new ideas with the potential to open new avenues of investigation.  MPN Challenge grants are generally NOT intended to support the logical progression of an already established research project. 
  • Research Strategy and Feasibility. Does the scientific rationale logically support the project and its feasibility for the 2-year grant period? 
  • Collaboration. Proposals that leverage interdisciplinary approaches may receive favorable attention, as will proposals by collaborative teams.
  • Access to Patient Samples and Relevant Patient Data. Proposals should clearly demonstrate access to any necessary reagents, including the appropriate number of patient samples and relevant patient data needed, to carry out the proposed experiments.   Be sure to specify the dataset and describe the analytical plan to be used.
  • Commitment to Information Sharing: MPNRF and LLS believe that sharing data is critical for advancing the science as rapidly as possible.  While understanding the confidential nature of the research process, it is our desire that all data will be made public within a year of being generated.  

Term of Grant

Grants will be awarded for a maximum two years, with the second year of funding contingent on sufficient progress, which will be assessed by interim and annual progress reports and teleconferences with MPNRF’s scientific advisory team.  The award size will be up to $200,000 over 2 years.   

MPNRF has a triage process in which all grants are internally assessed before passing to a larger review committee of researchers with expertise relevant to the proposals. Our review panel changes from year to year, and we abide by best practices with regards to mitigating conflicts of interest and protecting proprietary information.  The review panel scores the grants based on the NIH scoresheet and final recommendations are made to the MPNRF’s Board of Directors who make the final determination of who is funded and at what level. 

All MPNRF awardees are invited to an annual scientific summit called the MPN Roundtable at which they will meet other experts and stakeholders in the MPN space working in both academia and industry. At the Roundtable awardees give a presentation on their projects, hear feedback, and are invited to participate in a wider discussion of the MPN science world.

Following award notification, the MPN Research Foundation will interact with each grantee’s institutional grant office to establish a contract for each award.  It is our experience that this process can be completed in a 3-month period, especially if the terms of the grant (including Intellectual Property as described above) are reviewed by the grant office prior to submission of the grant proposal.  MPN Research Foundation reserves the right to cancel a grant if it is not possible to complete contract negotiations by October 1, 2019.

Provisions Related to Intellectual Property

The MPN Research Foundation is committed to translating the results of basic and translational research to MPN patients.  To that end, we include in our contracts with the institutions of our awardees Intellectual Property language meant to ensure that no critical results are left without productive follow-up.  Should your proposal be selected for an award, we will provide you with this language and ask you to work with your grant office to achieve a timely agreement on these provisions.

Limitation on Contract Negotiation Period

Following award notification, the MPN Research Foundation will interact with each grantee’s institutional grant office to establish a contract for each award.  It is our experience that this process can be completed in a 3-month period, especially if the terms of the grant (including Intellectual Property as described above) are reviewed by the grant office prior to submission of the grant proposal.  Therefore, in 2017 the MPN Research Foundation reserves the right to cancel a grant if it is not possible to complete contract negotiations by October 1, 2017.

Key Dates

  • Call for proposals – January 2019
  • Proposal due date – April 1, 2019
  • Scientific Peer Review Committee – May 2019
  • Notification of Awards- July 2019
  • Anticipated funding start date- October 1, 2019

Application Process

Applicants should prepare a grant application following the format described below and email this full proposal to the MPN Research Foundation no later than April 1, 2019.  Please title the PDF or Word file as follows:  Last Name(space)First Name(space)2017.  The proposal should be emailed to the attention of Michelle Woehrle at mwoehrle@mpnrf.org.

Click here for the Application

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