Many new discoveries made in basic cancer research laboratories are not applied toward the development of products with “real world,” i.e., patient, impact. Too many scientific breakthroughs remain at the laboratory bench rather than also being “translated” into bedside care.
One main reason discoveries fail to translate to patients in the form of clinical trials is the lack of funding. Before reaching patients, expensive pre-clinical research is necessary for proof-of-concept and proof-of-value. In the United States, abundant data on such studies are required in order to even submit for Investigational New Drug applications with the Food and Drug Administration.
This is the area of high-risk and high-failure, known too aptly as the “Valley of Death.” Scientists and entrepreneurs are in steep competition for a limited amount of funding. Drug candidates stall, never reaching their full potential to benefit patients.
But NFCR uses its vast expertise and network to help find translational research collaborators and steer funding to projects with the potential to undergird future new cancer drugs and technologies.
Hear from longtime Charlie Weatherspoon, co-founder and chairman of our organization’s venture philanthropy affiliate, the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund, about NFCR’s efforts to accelerate discoveries through the “Valley of Death.”