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U.S. National Institutes of Health

A Unique Partnership between NCI's Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis and the Center for Cancer Research to Support and Enable Translational Research

NCI's Experimental Therapeutics Program (NExT) focuses on advancing breakthrough discoveries in basic and clinical research into new therapies to treat cancer patients. NExT unites the drug development expertise of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD) with the dynamic research programs and state-of-the art facilities of the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) at the NIH Clinical Center-the world's largest hospital devoted entirely to clinical research. DCTD is investing in technologies to support drug discovery and development in the era of personalized medicine. These technologies include validated multiplexed assays for target-specific pharmacodynamic biomarkers (including specimen handling and the enrichment and isolation of viable circulating tumor cells), and next-generation sequencing and identification of genomic abnormalities from patient-derived malignant cells that support proof-of concept clinical trials such as MPACT. DCTD is also assessing the utility of conditionally reprogrammed cells and xenografts from patient-derived (PDX) tumors to understand the mechanisms of therapeutic response and resistance in patients with advanced, refractory cancers.

The NCI Intramural Research Program has established the following Centers of Excellence to provide centralized resources and infrastructure to support preclinical and clinical research:

  • Chromosome Biology
  • DNA Damage Checkpoint and Repair
  • Genitourinary Malignancies
  • Imaging (Preclinical and Clinical)
  • Immunology
  • Natural Products

The NExT Program is seeking to partner with the extramural community (academia, small biotech, and Pharma) in the above areas to facilitate the translation of innovative scientific discoveries into new approaches for diagnosing and treating rare and refractory tumors.

Who: Researchers in academia, government, and industry. A list of highly ranked applications can be found Here.

What: Drug discovery and development projects focused on unmet needs that are not adequately addressed by the private sector. The NCI is committed to moving high-priority projects through to proof-of-concept clinical trials. For more information, visit About NExT.

What NExT is not: NExT is not a grant or contract mechanism. Rather, approved projects will be provided access to the Institute's drug discovery and preclinical and clinical development resources.

How: Entry into NExT can occur at any stage of the drug discovery or development pipeline, but depends on favorable review of the application's scientific merit. For more information, visit How to Apply. Approved discovery activities may be performed by the NCI Chemical Biology Consortium, the discovery component of NExT.

When: Submission Deadlines occur three times per year.

Where: Online submission of NExT Application.

Sponsors: NCI's Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis and Center for Cancer Research.