The preclinical contract research organization (CRO) Lovelace will lead the four institutions to create and characterize disease models for unmet medical needs in a contract with the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Center for the Advancement of Translational Sciences (NCATS).
With this $20m (€17.7) contract, the group will work with the NIH to define research priorities. However, a spokesperson for Lovelace told us that it is starting immediately with a research program focused on Sickle Cell disease. According to company, this disease has been difficult to develop treatments for without the proper resources.
Lovelace stated it selected research institutions that have the capabilities to understand genetic underpinnings of diseases and study the genetic impact on diseases.
NCATS was established to accelerate translational research processes and focuses on moving treatments for genetic diseases into clinical trials. The center does so by developing resources and technologies to bypass obstacles often seen when translating developments to the clinic.
AMRI was previously awarded a contract with the NIH’s NCATS in 2017 to provide drug substance development and manufacturing services across pre-clinical phases of translational science.
University of Pennsylvania has worked with CROs before in manufacturing collaborations. In 2015, WuXi worked with the university to produce gene therapy vectors through its gene therapy program focused on developing gene vectors derived from recombinant viruses.