Oft-Overlooked Funding Source for Cutting Edge Biomedical Research, the MCDC
November 11, 2021
The Medical CBRN Defense Consortium (MCDC) funds other transaction agreements (OTA’s) with industry, academic and not-for-profit partners to support development of new and innovative technology to identify medical solutions to CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) threats. Awards are typically for two or three years and funding levels, while project-dependent, are robust. In fact, over $7.8 billion have been awarded through MCDC.
MCDC just released a request for prototype proposals (RPP) for Development of mRNA vaccines to prevent biological threat agent diseases. Upcoming RPPs include Accelerated antibodies prototype development and Therapeutics for emerging threats, among others.
While RPPs are similar in many respects to other mechanisms for funding basic and applied science, there are differences in how the proposals are structured and how grants are administered. To begin with, while open to academic research institutions, large and small businesses, and others, in order to submit a proposal, an entity must first become an MCDC member. Thereafter, performance of the OTA is outside of Federal Acquisition Rules. In addition, a typical MCDC RPP Project Description outlines anticipated performance objectives in some detail and may include limitations on data rights. Finally, there is typically a short window between when the RPP is released and the Enhanced White Paper due. For example, the full proposal (including Enhanced White Paper) for Development of mRNA vaccines to prevent biological threat diseases is due December 13, 2021, just five short weeks after the RPP was released.
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