An experiment on an aerosol product that showed the ability to preemptively stimulate an instant immune response to suppress viral respiratory infections before they can trigger an asthma attack has just received generous funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Associate professor of Pulmonary Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Scott Evans, received the New Innovator Award from the NIH under the institute’s High Risk High Reward program. Evans’ study is based on the premise that a generated lung defense upon the first sign of an infection can stave off the infection from reaching the lungs.
The NIH’s New Innovator award is worth $2.4 million, to be given over 5 years. It is intended to support preclinical studies on lung cells and mouse models that could pave the way towards clinical trials in the future.
“The NIH program allows researchers to propose highly creative research projects across a broad range of biomedical research areas that involve inherent risk, but have the potential for high rewards.” – Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., NIH Director
Also among NIH’s research financing initiatives are the NIH Pioneer, New Innovator, Transformative Research and Early Independence Awards. The institute’s total funding for 2013 amounts to $123 million, which is comprised of the NIH Common Fund, and several other NIH sectors.
Dr. Evans and several others working on the same research project, including the chair of Pulmonary Medicine, Dr. Burton Dickey, founded a company called Pulmotect, LLC, which employs licensed technology from MD Anderson.