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Commercial Research Funding


Commercial R&D Funding

The mission of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is to cure multiple sclerosis (MS) while empowering individuals affected by MS to live their best lives. To achieve this mission, the Society has developed the Pathways to Cures Research Roadmap. This Roadmap was developed in consultation with global scientific experts and people affected by MS and outlines a vision of the most promising research that will ultimately lead to cures for MS.
This RFA invites applications to establish research partnerships with the Society’s commercial development program, Fast Forward, LLC, to accelerate and support development of therapeutic strategies specifically relevant to the Roadmap priority of addressing MS progression and progressive forms of MS. This RFA is open to applicants from for-profit commercial organizations and not-for-profit research institutions worldwide (see Mechanisms of Support section for additional important details).
Examples of research and development to be supported by this RFA include, but are not limited to:

  • Proof of concept studies using sufficiently characterized compounds or biologics.
  • Studies to measure target engagement or target-related pharmacodynamic effects, particularly those involving endpoints with clinical utility.
  • Medicinal chemistry or biologic product development optimization.
  • PK/ADMET studies
  • IND-enabling studies such as GLP toxicology, compound scale-up, process method validation
Research areas NOT supported by this RFA:
  • New target identification studies
  • High-throughput screening and early hit characterization
  • Drug repurposing efforts without a commercially appropriate intellectual property strategy
  • Targets exclusive to immune pathways in MS pathophysiology that are known to drive acute inflammatory responses in the relapsing forms/phases of MS.
Mechanisms of Support:
This RFA is open to for-profit commercial organizations and not-for-profit research institutions. Consistent with our goal to support research and development conducted with a high level of quality control typical of the pharmaceutical industry, applications from not-for-profit institutions will be considered if most of the work is conducted at reputable Contract Research Organizations with appropriate expertise or is conducted in such fashion in a suitable research environment with strict adherence to quality control measures. The project duration should be 1 to 2 years.
Direct costs of up to $800,000 USD will be provided and must be justified based on the scientific and development work plan.
Important Dates:
  • Pre-applications will be accepted beginning November 16, 2023
  • Final date for acceptance of pre-applications: 5 pm ET, January 24, 2024
  • Final date for receipt of completed full applications: 5 pm ET, January 31, 2024

Download the RFA (.pdf)
Download an application checklist for this funding opportunity (.pdf)
Fast Forward Application Instructions (.pdf)

For more information, please contact:

Walter Kostich PhD    
Director, Commercial Research

Mark Allegretta PhD    
Vice President, Research


© 2023 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.