What is Translational Research?
Translational research is the process of translating early discoveries made in the lab into effective treatments for patients through pre-clinical studies and experiments. It is extremely time-consuming and costly, and less than 1% is ever successful—the unfortunate nature of science. These bleak facts cause a lack of funding, leading to a significant gap in the pipeline from discovery to treatment. The term “Valley of Death” is often associated with translational research, due to these challenges. However, translational research is a crucial step in bringing new treatments to patients. No new therapies can be developed without translational research.
How is NFCR closing the gap?
For nearly five decades, the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) has been committed to funding high risk, high impact research. Through NFCR’s traditional funding of basic research, we have helped see through numerous breakthroughs in early-stage cancer research. In 2018, NFCR took the bold next step to bring the benefits of NFCR-led discoveries to patients, through the expanded support of translational research.
With an initial grant from NFCR, the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund—a new paradigm to fund translational research—was born. Its unique approach strives to accelerate translational cancer research, thereby speeding up the production of more targeted and effective cancer therapies. NFCR works closely with the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund, through a very focused approach to speed up the pre-clinical studies needed to cross the “Valley of the Death”, providing unique guidance and access to its extensive network of world-class life sciences industry professionals, investors and entrepreneurs.
Where other organizations shy away from the high-risk areas of translational research, the National Foundation for Cancer Research is leading the way to accelerate the new therapies to help patients. We are doing all we must to save lives fast.