Home » Emergency and Crisis » CCRP Initiative: NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Translational Exploratory/Developmental Research Projects

CCRP Initiative: NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Translational Exploratory/Developmental Research Projects


This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) supports translational exploratory/developmental research that directly advances the discovery of novel treatment strategies, i.e., medical countermeasures (MCMs), that address serious morbidity and mortality after acute exposure to highly toxic chemical threats.

Donor Name: National Institutes of Health

States: All States

County: All Counties

Territory: American Samoa, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands

Type of Grant: Grant

Deadline: 04/30/2023

Size of the Grant: $275,000

Grant Duration: 2 years


The Chemical Countermeasures Research Program (CCRP) supports the discovery and early preclinical development of medical countermeasures (MCMs) to treat and/or prevent serious morbidities and mortality resulting from high consequence public health chemical emergencies. A high consequence public health chemical event is when a large number of civilians are either deliberately or accidentally exposed to highly toxic chemicals. In this case, the MCMs should be easily accessible to first responders and local public health authorities for use in a mass casualty pre-hospital setting or as follow-on in-hospital treatments. The civilian chemical threat spectrum includes chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, pesticides, ultra-potent synthetic (UPS) opioids, and others that have been identified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as Chemicals of Concern (CoC). These compounds are highly toxic and MCMs are urgently needed to advance national medical and public health preparedness for, response to, and recovery from, chemical emergencies. MCMs should be safe and effective for adults, children, and the elderly.

Chemicals of Concern (CoC)

This NOFO will only support projects developing MCMs against chemicals that have been identified by the DHS as high consequence public health CoC. CoC are organized within toxidromes established by the USG. Toxidromes group chemicals based on their primary modes of toxicity. One benefit of this approach is that a single MCM may be therapeutically effective against multiple different chemical threats within the same toxidrome.

The CoC toxidromes and examples include:

  • Anticoagulants (e. g., brodifacoum, bromadiolone)
  • Blood agents (e.g., hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide)
  • Cholinergic Warfare and Pesticides (e. g., sarin, soman, parathion, phorate, aldicarb)
  • Convulsant (e.g., picrotoxin, TETS, strychnine)
  • Hemolytic/Metabolic (e.g., arsenic trioxide, thallium sulfate, arsine)
  • Pulmonary (e.g., chlorine, phosgene, sulfur mustard, ammonia, sulfur dioxide)
  • Ultra-potent Synthetic Opioids (e.g., fentanyl, carfentanil, acetylfentanyl, sufentanil, remifentanil)
  • Vesicants (e.g., sulfur mustard and nitrogen mustard, Lewisite, phosgene oxime)

Research Topic Examples

  • The categories of research supported under this R21 program includes, but is not limited to:
    • Creation/validation of clinically relevant in vivo or in vitro (including 3D/organoid) models of the post-exposure lethality and serious near- and long-term chronic morbidities for the purpose of investigating treatment and prevention strategies
    • Preclinical development of new molecular targeting agents, biologics, or novel strategies based on specific changes in signaling pathways and proteins/genes expression during the post-exposure injury process
    • Evaluation of new combination treatment strategies and development of new agents to enhance the effectiveness of standard-of-care therapies
    • Performance of high-throughput screens for discovery of chemical probes and molecular targeting agents
    • Studies that use Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning models for the purpose of investigating/discovering novel MCM strategies to modulate chemical toxicity
    • Discovery of candidate therapeutics using primary and secondary screening to generate preliminary proof-of-principle in vitro and/or in vivo efficacy data
    • Alternate routes of administration and/or dosing regimen for new or already FDA-approved therapies that would be safer, more effective, or easier to administer during a mass casualty scenario or for specific subpopulations (e.g., pediatric and pregnant) that are at higher vulnerability to the adverse effects of chemical intoxication
  • Proposals seeking to repurpose/expand indications of already approved/authorized products. This may include, but is not limited to:
    • Alternate routes of administration and/or dosing regimen that would be safer, more effective, or easier to administer during a mass casualty scenario
    • Extending a previously observed protective effect of a promising novel and/or already FDA-approved compound(s) for one chemical threat to others, i.e., broadening the spectrum of activity

Funding Information

  • The budget for direct costs for the two-year project period may not exceed $275,000. No more than $200,000 may be requested in any single year.
  • The total project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity may not exceed 2 years.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Higher Education Institutions
    • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
    • Private Institutions of Higher Education
  • The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:
    • Hispanic-serving Institutions
    • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
    • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
    • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
    • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)
  • Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education
    • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
    • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • For-Profit Organizations
    • Small Businesses
    • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)
  • Local Governments
    • State Governments
    • County Governments
    • City or Township Governments
    • Special District Governments
    • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
    • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Federal Government
    • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
    • U.S. Territory or Possession
  • Other
    • Independent School Districts
    • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
    • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
    • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
    • Regional Organizations.

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