The American Thoracic Society Foundation has created a $50,000 research award for projects aimed at developing better prevention, diagnosis, or treatment approaches for non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NMT) lung disease.
It calls it the Insmed Research Award to recognize the global biopharmaceutical company Insmed’s commitment to funding it.
People with lung disorders like bronchiectasis, COPD, asthma, or chronic pneumonia are likely to develop NTM lung disease, a progressive and chronic condition.
The disorder is caused by mycobacteria that are common in the environment. About 86,000 Americans have it — and the number is increasing by roughly 8 percent every year.
Nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease “is occurring at an increasingly frequent rate, often striking individuals with underlying lung disease, leading to a chronic, debilitating disease,” Charles Daley, MD, said in a press release. He heads the Division of Mycobacterial and Respiratory Infections at National Jewish Health.
“Through Insmed’s support, this new award will provide a much needed source of funding for scientists to find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat these complex infections and ultimately help our patients suffering from NTM disease,” Daley said.
Insmed, which focuses on rare diseases, is developing several therapies for respiratory illnesses. They include ALIS for refractory NTM lung disease and INS1007 for non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis and other inflammatory diseases.
“Insmed is proud to support the important work that ATS [the foundation] and researchers around the world are doing to advance the care and treatment of NTM lung disease,” said Will Lewis, the president and CEO of Insmed.
“The tremendous difficulty that NTM lung disease patients have in getting an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment is well-documented,” he said. “The creation of this research award is critical to broadening access to information and deepening understanding that will ultimately lead to specialized care for this community.”
The opening of the grant application process will be announced soon. The one-year funding period will run from December 2018 to November 2019. The winning proposal will be based on its relevance to NMT lung disease, and its feasibility, innovation, and scientific merit.
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The foundation was founded in 2004. Its goal is to improve the quality of life for those with respiratory diseases, their families, and communities worldwide. It has awarded $17.6 million to researchers in the U.S. and internationally.
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