SINGAPORE THERAPEUTICS DEVELOPMENT REVIEW (STDR) 2021 CALL FOR PROPOSALS


STDR 2021 Events

Launch of 2021 grant call

The STDR grant call is open for submission of applications from 30 September 2021 to 3 November 2021.

STDR Symposium

The 2021 STDR Symposium was held on 11 August 2021 and featured an introduction to the STDR funding scheme, presentations from STDR-funded projects that have gone on to spin off biotech companies, as well as a fireside chat where various elements of biotech translation was discussed.

A recording of the symposium is available at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcenRySmzqv4Rg40Nxy15Ja5Zuh9Pcvh3.


OVERVIEW

The Singapore Therapeutics Development Review (STDR) is a funding scheme implemented by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in partnership with our strategic partners, the Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC), National Health Innovation Centre (NHIC) and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). 

The scheme aims to identify potential high-value drug discovery and development projects from the research community in Singapore, to render the right support and guidance to progress promising projects, and boost the quality and quantity of the biotech pipeline in Singapore by facilitating the development of industry-ready capabilities from public sector research. 

In addition to receiving seed funding to develop their projects, researchers will receive mentorship and guidance from local and international drug development experts.


STDR PRE-PILOT AND PILOT STAGES

Applicants may choose to apply for either the STDR Pre-Pilot or Pilot programmes. It is highly encouraged but optional to have a clinical Co-Investigator or Collaborator.

Pre-Pilot The Pre-Pilot stage aims to support earlier-stage and more exploratory, proof-of-concept projects that have some preliminary data. Areas supported include preclinical validation of putative drug targets, or platform exploration. 

The Pre-Pilot call for proposals will be split into two streams:
Stream 1 (Target Validation) will support single target/single asset projects and will be facilitated by EDDC as a continuation of the Target Translation Consortium (TTC) scheme from RIE2020. A Drug Discovery Specialist (DDS) will be appointed to each awarded project to work with the investigator on the design of key experiments needed for preclinical target validation.
 
Stream 2 (Platform Development) will support platform discovery projects and will be facilitated by SMART. Platforms are technologies that enable broad application of the underlying science and in so doing, lead to multiple applications or products. Awarded projects will be supported with a venture design bootcamp that will help to scope out the key potential applications with commercial impact and help outline the commercialisation pathway.

Pilot Pilot stage aims to support more mature projects that have more data and have already been validated to a certain degree, or already have a commercialisation plan. The Pilot stage aims to identify high value therapeutic projects within the community and render them the right support to achieve commercial success. Both single target/single asset drug development projects and platform technologies projects will be funded.

Pilot awardees will attend mentoring sessions to receive advice and support from leading entrepreneurs and innovators (including VCs, biotech CEOs, or experts from EDDC). Mentors will provide advice on matters relating to the development and commercial strategy, including marketing, business modelling and pitch practice/advice.

Projects may enter the STDR Pilot workflow via 2 routes:

(a) Direct submission of Letter of Intent (LOI) to the Pilot Stage, or 

(b) Successful Pre-Pilot projects would be invited to submit a full proposal to STDR upon recommendation by the respective Pre-Pilot evaluation committees.



Applicants may refer to the guide in the Information Sheet Annex A to determine which grant type is most suitable for your project.

THEMATIC AREAS

Applications would be considered for drug discovery and development projects and platform technologies in small molecules, biologics, and cell and gene therapy.

FUNDING PRINCIPLES

Funding principles for STDR Pre-Pilot and Pilot Projects:

  Maximum funding quantum
Pre-PilotUp to S$100k per project (including 30% indirect costs) over a maximum of 1 year.
PilotPhase 1: up to S$330k per project (including 30% indirect costs) over a maximum of 1 year.

Projects will be assessed for competitiveness at the end of 1 year to determine eligibility to receive Phase 2 funding, which is an additional budget of up to S$500k (including 30% indirect costs) over a maximum of 1 additional year. 

*A total of S$830K may be awarded for Pilot Phase 1 and Phase 2 funding. The final split of funding will be determined by the STDR review panels. 

**Phase 2 projects may set aside a portion of their budget to work with their institution’s commercialisation office to develop a commercialisation plan.


EVALUATION CRITERIA

Selection of successful proposals would be based on the following evaluation criteria:

a. Scientific excellence
b. Potential for scientific breakthroughs / Disruptive innovation
c. Unmet medical need to be addressed
d. Competition and potential / Current market size
e. Potential impact / Relevance to Singapore
f. Credibility of team

Applicants may refer to the Information Sheet Annex B for the individual evaluation criteria for the Pre-Pilot (Streams 1 & 2) and Pilot stages.


ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Applicants are required to fulfill the following criteria at the point of application:

EmploymentThe Principal Investigator (PI) should:
a. Hold at least a 0.7 FTE primary appointment in a Singapore publicly funded research or tertiary institution;
b. Run a laboratory or research programme that carries out research in Singapore; and
c. Have a track record of leadership ability in coordinating research programmes, as well as achieving productive research outcomes.

Exceptions to eligibility criteria will be considered on a case by case basis with the submission of a waiver request. Please write to the grant secretariat before the submission of your application.

INDICATIVE TIMELINE

Indicative Timeline for Pre-Pilot (Streams 1&2):
Stage 1: Submission of Full Proposals  
 Launch of Call for Full Proposals 30 September 2021
 Deadline for Submission of Full Proposals on IGMS 3 November 2021
 Presentation to Review Panel * (for Stream 2 only) TBC
 Award By end February 2022

Applicants must ensure they are available to attend all meetings marked (*) above.

Indicative Timeline for Pilot:
Stage 1: Submission of LOIs 
 Launch of Call for Letters of Intent (LOIs)30 September 2021 
 Deadline for Submission of LOIs on IGMS 3 November 2021
 Notification of Shortlisting Outcome  Week of 14 February 2022
 Stage 2: Full Proposal (For shortlisted applicants only) 
 Deadline for Submission of Full Proposal 11 March 2022
 Presentation to Review Panel * May 2022
 Award TBC

Applicants who are shortlisted for Pilot full proposal submission must ensure they are available to attend all meetings marked (*) above.

SUBMISSION DETAILS

Applicants are required to submit their applications via the IGMS website: https://researchgrant.gov.sg/ by 3 Nov 2021, 11.59pm (Singapore time)

Only complete applications submitted on IGMS by the deadline will be accepted. Applicants are advised to submit their applications early in the event of technical errors with the IGMS website.

Applications must be fully endorsed by the applicant, applicants’ respective Industry and Enterprise Offices (IEOs) and Directors of Research (DORs). Applicants are strongly encouraged to approach their respective IEO representatives and DORs early to give sufficient time to gather input and endorsement.

The STDR Pre-Pilot and Pilot grant calls are listed as two separate grant calls in the IGMS system, with the following titles:

a. “Singapore Therapeutics Development Review Pre-Pilot Grant Call 2021”
b. “Singapore Therapeutics Development Review Pilot Grant Call 2021” 

More details on the grant application steps using the IGMS system can be found in the Information Sheet Annex C


ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTS

CONTACT INFORMATION

For queries related to IGMS, please reach out to helpdesk@researchgrant.gov.sg

For queries related to STDR Pre-Pilot:
Stream 1 (Target Validation): 
Ms Chia Hsin Ee (EDDC) chia_hsin_ee@eddc.a-star.edu.sg
Dr Christophe Bodenreider (EDDC) christophe_bodenreider@eddc.a-star.edu.sg

Stream 2 (Platform Development):
Dr Howard Califano (SMART) howard.califano@smart.mit.edu

For queries related to STDR Pilot:
Dr Tan Yun Xuan (A*STAR) tan_yun_xuan@hq.a-star.edu.sg 
Dr Siti Munirah (A*STAR) siti_munirah@hq.a-star.edu.sg