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NCATS Programs & Initiatives

NCATS Programs & Initiatives

Discover the innovative work of NCATS-supported programs and initiatives, including those led by the NIH Common Fund.

Assay Development and Screening Technology (ADST)

ADST is designed to advance therapeutic development through research and development of innovative assay (test) designs and chemical library screening methods.

Biomedical Data Translator Program

NCATS launched the Biomedical Data Translator (Translator) program to accelerate biomedical translation for the research community. Through this program, NCATS will integrate multiple types of existing data sources and reveal potential relationships across the spectrum of data types.

Bridging Interventional Development Gaps (BrIDGs)

The BrIDGs program assists researchers in advancing promising therapeutic agents through late-stage pre-clinical development toward an Investigational New Drug application and clinical testing.

Chemistry Technology

Chemistry technology experts at NCATS develop small molecules and screening approaches that other scientists can use to pursue innovations in therapeutic development.

Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program

The CTSA Program addresses the development and implementation of national standards and best practices for translation, from basic discovery to clinical and community-engaged research.

Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules (New Therapeutic Uses)

The New Therapeutic Uses program aims to improve the process of developing new treatments and cures for disease by finding new uses for assets that already have cleared several key steps along the development path (also known as drug repurposing).

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

GARD provides up-to-date health information about numerous rare and genetic diseases.

Global Rare Diseases Patient Registry Data Repository/GRDR®

The aim of GRDR® is to develop a Web-based resource that aggregates, secures and stores de-identified patient information from many different registries for rare diseases, all in one place.

Matrix Combination Screening

NCATS experts use a technology called matrix combination screening to quickly narrow down a long list of potential drug combinations and find those with the most potential to help patients.

NCATS Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC)

NCGC researchers advance small molecule therapeutic development through assay (test) design, high-throughput screening and medicinal chemistry.

Pfizer's Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI)

The CTI program is designed to help bridge the gap between early scientific discovery and its translation into new medicines through public-private resource sharing.

Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN)

The RDCRN is designed to advance medical research on rare diseases by providing support for clinical studies and facilitating collaboration, study enrollment and data sharing. Through the RDCRN consortia, physician scientists and their multidisciplinary teams work together with patient advocacy groups to study more than 200 rare diseases at sites across the nation.

RNA Interference (RNAi)

The RNAi program at NCATS is designed to develop and improve RNAi screening approaches to better understand gene function and identify treatment targets.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

These programs support NCATS’ mission to transform the translational science process by helping small businesses develop and commercialize new technologies.

Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND)

The TRND program supports pre-clinical development of therapeutic candidates intended to treat rare or neglected disorders, with the goal of enabling an Investigational New Drug application.

Tissue Chip for Drug Screening

The Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program aims to develop bioengineered devices to improve the process of predicting whether drugs will be safe or toxic in humans.

Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21)

The Tox21 initiative is designed to improve toxicity testing methods and enable faster, more efficient evaluation of chemicals’ effects on human health.

NIH Common Fund Programs

NIH Common Fund programs can provide a strategic and nimble approach to address key roadblocks in biomedical research that impede basic scientific discovery and its translation into improved human health. All NIH Institutes and Centers are involved with the NIH Office of Strategic Coordination in the design, implementation, and evaluation of Common Fund programs.

NCATS is in a unique position to administer several innovative Common Fund programs that complement the Center’s efforts to transform the translational science process so that more treatments can reach more patients more quickly. NCATS co-chairs and provides leadership on the following Common Fund programs:

Extracellular RNA Communication (ExRNA)

ExRNA communication is a recently discovered cell-to-cell signaling process that holds enormous promise for improving our understanding of a wide variety of diseases. NCATS participates in the NIH Common Fund’s program to investigate this new scientific field.

Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG)

To improve scientific understanding of understudied protein families, IDG is designed to test a two-pronged approach for exploring the druggable genome. Approximately 3,000 genes are considered part of the “druggable genome,” a set of genes encoding proteins that scientists can or predict they can modulate using experimental small molecule compounds. Yet only about 10 percent of these genes encode proteins that have been targeted successfully by an approved drug. Therefore, a large number of proteins remain for scientists to explore as potential therapeutic targets.

Stem Cell Translation Laboratory

NCATS is working to advance translational methods in stem cell research with support from the NIH Common Fund. Induced pluripotent stem cells are particularly useful because scientists can transform them into many different cell types to use for research or therapies.