The Sohana Research Fund (SRF) was established in 2011 to help discover and test new treatments for the inherited blistering skin disease, recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) that affects people worldwide.

The ultimate goal of SRF is to find new therapies that lead to a cure for RDEB. It is hoped that work we fund will expedite therapies for all types of EB.

SRF focuses on funding translational basic research projects and early phase clinical trials, as well as new treatments for specific health issues in RDEB. Support for work that leads to later phase clinical trials and the development of new therapies for RDEB will also be considered.

SRF has already raised and spent £2m in funding three clinical trials and 2 novel clinical research studies.

Potential applicants should note that (1) SRF does not generally fund basic laboratory research, including animal studies: animal studies as part of later stage research prior to embarking on a proof of concept clinical trial would be funded; (2) SRF only funds direct costs (subject to an exception for research in the US, where indirect costs up to a maximum of 5% may be funded).

SRF will evaluate applications at any time – there are no specific deadlines. It is anticipated that most projects will seek 2-3 years’ funding, although support for a maximum of 5 years will be considered.

Potential applicants are first advised to submit an outline application form for review by the SRF Trustees and SRF strategy expert panel. Any subsequent full application will be subject to full external peer review.

Applications are welcome from clinicians, clinician-scientists and researchers in any country who share our goal of curing RDEB.

Guidelines for submission

1) Proximity to proof of clinical concept or clearly defined path towards
2) Clinical importance
3) Scientific importance
4) Is the research innovative and able to demonstrate potential advantage over research being conducted by other research groups
5) Is the proposed project funded from any other source?
6) The project plan should have targets and timings that are realistic and identified staffing requirements should be adequate and achievable
7) SRF welcomes applications from universities, hospitals or recognised academic institutions with the UK or internationally but the ability to demonstrate a track record in EB research or leader status in their particular field outside of EB research, will be of advantage
The research institution should endorse/sponsor the project
8) Is there any intellectual property currently associated with the research, who owns it and will that be a hindrance to our use of the technology as relating to RDEB
9) Collaboration between groups is encouraged to include international collaboration
10) Co-funding/match funding requests are encouraged and where suitable reviews have been undertaken and can be shared – funding can be expedited.

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