The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) published a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in the Spring 2012 NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts to establish Centers for Accelerated Innovations (CAI). The CAI will address the problems that hinder the critical early steps necessary to translate novel scientific advances and discoveries into commercially viable diagnostics, devices, therapeutics, and tools that improve patient care and advance public health.
The Need for Accelerated Innovation
Despite the remarkable success of NHLBI in enabling the development of interventions that have greatly reduced the health burdens due to cardiovascular, lung, blood and sleep disorders, much remains to be done. Cardiovascular and lung diseases still account for 3 of the 4 leading causes of death; 4 of the 10 leading causes of infant death; $392 billion in health care dollars, and 22% of the total economic costs of illness, injuries, and death.
Unfortunately, the pace of translating discoveries from NHLBI-supported research into medical products that can further reduce the public health burden of heart, lung, and blood (HLB) diseases appears to have slowed. Major pharmaceutical firms have announced their intention to abandon drug development efforts for cardiovascular diseases and venture capital and angel investors have shown a decreased interest in the healthcare and biotechnology sectors.