The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to promote the discovery of novel small molecules that may enhance the ability of the immune system to selectively recognize and attack cancer cells.
These small molecules could be further developed into stand-alone immunotherapeutics
or synergistic partners for existing therapies, or as chemical probes for the discovery and validation of novel targets involved in anti-tumor immunity.
Investigators from multiple scientific disciplines (immuno-oncology, tumor biology, screening technology, medicinal chemistry, and pharmacology) are encouraged to establish collaborative teams to discover and develop novel small molecule immunomodulators for cancer therapy.
This FOA encourages the design of research projects that utilize the following phases of discovery research:
1) assay development specifically designed for immuno-oncology targets with the intent to screen for novel small molecule compounds that show potential as either probes or drugs, or as pre-therapeutic leads; 2) screen implementation for immunomodulatory targets to identify initial screening hits (from high throughput target-focused approaches or moderate throughput phenotypic- and fragment-based approaches); 3) hit validation through secondary orthogonal and counter screening assays, and hit prioritization; and 4) hit-to-lead optimization.