The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has issued a Request of Proposals for its Novel Artemisinin Manufacturing Technologies program.
The goal of the project is to develop novel approaches through the proof-of-concept stage for the manufacture of artemisinin and/or its precursors as a starting material or intermediate for the preparation of artemisinin-based active pharmaceutical ingredients. These approaches should demonstrate the potential — with a high probability of success — to meet aggressive cost targets when introduced at commercial scale.
The focus of the RFP is on early research and lab-scale proof-of-concept testing of novel technologies. Awards will be made in three target areas, including artemisinin precursor (i.e., AA) production, chemical conversion of AA to artemisinin, and the direct production of artemisinin. The total value of all awards combined is estimated at $4.5 million, with individual awards not to exceed $1 million each for programs of up to twelve months.
As the foundation recognizes that many interested parties may not have all the requisite capabilities in-house, proposers are highly encouraged to collaborate with partners, if needed.
It is anticipated (but not guaranteed) that successful awardees will be requested to submit a proposal for additional development work, scale-up to pilot scale, generation of the necessary materials (e.g., cell banks), and technology transfer packages to enable manufacturing at multiple existing manufacturing facilities.
To be eligible, applicants must be open to collaboration; be committed to providing global access to the technologies developed for the ultimate manufacturing of artemisinin; and be in good financial health.
There are two deadlines to accommodate 1) potential rapid responses and awards for responders that can meet the tighter timelines; and 2) to allow for more time where it is required for partnering and/or the crafting of responses. Those deadlines are August 5 and September 29, 2017, respectively.
See the Gates Foundation website for complete program guidelines and memorandum submission instructions.