Grant Program 2018-11-20T17:08:49+00:00

The HeritX Research Grant Program

2018 Letter of Intent Deadline: November 30, 2018

View our Grant Program Guidelines.

The HeritX Path to Cancer Prevention

HeritX uses its resources to overcome the historic barriers to the development of cancer prevention drugs, to enable innovation, and to shorten therapy-development timelines. Research funders traditionally support individual research projects to increase knowledge of a disease – the “R” in “R&D.” Knowledge is vital but cannot alone prevent cancer. Research must – from the beginning – be linked with the activities required to turn this new knowledge into an approved therapy for patients – the “D” in R&D. HeritX connects the “R” and “D” into one integrated program that can transform basic research into an FDA-approved cancer prevention therapy. As a start, our programs focus on how to prevent cancer in families with cancer gene mutations and with a goal to address all components required to bring a prevention therapy to the clinic.

To accomplish the goal of preventing cancer, HeritX has put together—with the input from our scientific advisers—a Roadmap to define the tasks needed to achieve an approved preventive therapy. From the start, this focuses on the patient need and attempts to address all necessary components, including fundamental knowledge, drug screening, drug safety, drug delivery, and FDA requirements.

The Roadmap research questions are:

  1. How can we FIX the decrease in BRCA1/2 gene function?
    a. Increase the activity of the functional BRCA1/2 gene copy
    b. Identify compounds that increase genomic stability (including natural compounds, repurposed drugs, and others)
  2. How can we PROVIDE the missing BRCA1/2 protein?
  3. How can we PROTECT healthy BRCA1/2 mutation carriers from developing cancer?
    a. Identify the earliest steps in the development of inherited BRCA1/2 mutated cancers (any type including breast, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic and melanoma)
    b. Identify BRCA1/2 mutated pre-cancer targets for possible preventive therapy
    c. Develop a vaccine against BRCA1/2 mutated pre-cancer antigens
    d. Stimulate immunity against BRCA1/2 mutated pre-cancer cells in other ways (specific or non-specific immunity)
  4. How can we ACCELERATE the development process?
    a. Develop faster clinical/regulatory strategies (e.g., through using novel surrogate endpoints/biomarkers)
    b. Generate more predictive preclinical assays for effective and efficient screening of potential therapies
    c. Facilitate availability of clinical tissue samples for use in preclinical experimentation
    d. Develop faster clinical enrollment methods


2018-2019 Funding Priorities

For the 2018-2019 funding cycle, we will accept applications representing innovative approaches to prevent any BRCA1/2 mutation-related cancer (breast, ovary, prostate, pancreas or melanoma) with a preference for projects that are directed at preventing more than one type of BRCA1/2 mutant cancer. All proposed projects must be aligned with the HeritX Roadmap research questions above. Funding priority will be given to proposals focused on the following:

  1. Proposals for research to define new approaches to enhance immunologic surveillance and destruction of cells that have lost the wild type BRCA1/2 gene or gene activity in patients who carry an inherited a BRCA1/2 mutation in one chromosome.
  2. Proposals for research to define new agents that demonstrate cytotoxicity specifically to cells that have lost the corresponding wild type BRCA1/2 gene in patients heterozygous for an inherited a BRCA1/2 mutation. These agents should have a benign safety profile in cells that retain at least one functional BRCA gene.
  3. Proposals for diagnostic tests / biomarkers that identify BRCA1/2 mutation carriers at the earliest transition from normal cellular function to pre-malignancy. Ideally a biomarker would predict transformation to a detectable malignant tumor within two (2) years (or another short-term period).


The Application and Review Process

Our goal is an iterative and efficient application process. We are happy to discuss ideas and assess if and how they may support the our mission to develop a cancer prevention therapy. If you have any questions, please contact us at  Letters of Intent are required and will be evaluated for alignment with HeritX goals before a full application can be submitted. This process is designed to allow us to interact with you and provide input in advance of the preparation of a full application. We sincerely appreciate your interest and work in this field.

Grant applications are accepted through proposalCENTRAL.

View our Grant Program Guidelines.