MILLIONS OF NEW DOD RESEARCH DOLLARS FOR ORTHOPEDICS (Orthopedics This Week)

A Defense Department (DOD) program called the Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program (PRORP) announced on March 21 that potential investigators can sign up for a chance to win millions of dollars in research grants at a website called eBRAP (Electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal).

The grant offers are intended “to support the most significant gaps in care for the leading burden of injury and for facilitating return to duty by funding innovative, high-impact, clinically relevant research to advance optimal treatment and rehabilitation from musculoskeletal injuries sustained during combat and combat-related activities,” DOD said.

The types of research the PRORP program wants are:

Compartment Syndrome Models: Diagnostic and/or treatment strategies developed in a large animal model that replicates compartment syndrome. Model system should be clinically relevant and scientifically reproducible.

Limb Stabilization and Protection: Development of rapid limb stabilization and novel wound protectants for severely wounded limbs to enable transport at the point of need.

Retention on Duty Strategies: Development and/or optimization of battlefield-feasible diagnostic capabilities, decision support tools, interventions, and/or rehabilitation strategies that can facilitate retention on duty for common combat-related musculoskeletal injuries. (Biomarker studies are excluded.)

Skin-implant Interface: Identification of best practices to address infection at the skin-implant interface for osseointegrated prosthetic limbs.

Translation of Early Findings: Translation of early research findings in orthopedic surgical care topic areas (volumetric muscle loss, compartment syndrome, and soft tissue trauma) to move the research toward clinical trials and clinical practice.

Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics: Development of advanced tissue regeneration therapeutics in nerve, muscle, and/or composite tissue for the restoration of traumatically injured extremities (excludes isolated bone tissue engineering studies).

How many millions will be awarded?

The total isn’t clear, but specific program amounts (see below) were announced.

The program has $30 million to spend this year, but some of that must cover administrative costs.

Deadlines?

Not yet announced, either.

The PRORP program says that more information on the three sets of grant offers described below will be posted on http://grants.gov by June. It doesn’t say whether they are or are not the only grant offers, or whether more than one grant is possible in any of the three.

These details are clear: you can start the required pre-application now, the PRORP program will determine from pre-application information who will be invited to submit a grant application, and you can sign up at that eBRAP page to receive announcements specific to the PRORP or any other DOD medical research program.

The three “award mechanisms,” as PRORP calls them, are:

  1. Up to $750,000 for up to three years of applied research without a clinical trial focused on advancing optimal treatment and restoration of function for military personnel with musculoskeletal injuries sustained during combat or combat-related activities, in one of these three research subjects:
  • Compartment Syndrome Models
  • Limb Stabilization and Protection
  • Retention on Duty Strategies.
  1. Up to $3 million for up to four years for “clinical trials with the potential to have a major impact on military combat-related orthopedic injuries or non-battle injuries that significantly impact unit readiness and return-to-duty/work rates…. Collaboration with military researchers and clinicians is encouraged. Proposals should be in one of these areas:
  • Limb Stabilization and Protection
  • Retention on Duty Strategies
  • Translation of Early Findings.
  1. Up to $2 million for up to four years for high-impact and/or emerging research that may or may not be ready for a full-scale, randomized, controlled clinical trial. The research studies must involve humans, and grantees will need to have preliminary or published data relevant to the proposed research project. Collaboration with military researchers and clinicians is encouraged. The focus areas are:
  • Retention on Duty Strategies
  • Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics.

A more complete description of these three grant offers can be found at this web page.