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Foundation for a Smoke-Free World Shares Preliminary Health, Science, and Technology Agenda, and Issues Multimillion Dollar Request for Proposals for Biomarker Development

Foundation for a Smoke-Free World Shares Preliminary Health, Science, and Technology Agenda, and Issues Multimillion Dollar Request for Proposals for Biomarker Development

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Aug. 16, 2018

Invites Public to Provide Comment on the Agenda

NEW YORK, Aug. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World announced publication of its preliminary Health, Science, and Technology (HST) Agenda and invites the public to provide comment. The Foundation has prepared its preliminary Agenda through consultations with a broad range of experts, reviews of the most recent epidemiological data on smoking, findings of the Foundation's State of Smoking survey, and reviews of recent work on research gaps in the field.

This preliminary Agenda outlines work in three areas:

  • Funding research to answer consumers', physicians', and regulators' questions about smoking, smoking cessation, and harm reduction; and to strengthen research capacity in countries where most smokers live
  • Creating funding mechanisms to stimulate innovation for more effective smoking cessation tools and for improving access to affordable cessation and reduced-risk products in low- and middle-income countries
  • Funding data-gathering and analytics to measure progress and to inform the actions of consumers, researchers, other stakeholders, and the Foundation itself

The Foundation invites comments on the preliminary Agenda through its website until September 15, 2018. The Foundation will review the comments and consider them for inclusion in the final version of the Agenda, which is set for publication in November 2018.

"Smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disability in the world. On the present trajectory, a billion people will prematurely die from smoking this century. We invite all those interested in accelerating the end of smoking to review our preliminary HST Agenda and comment. We look forward to hearing from smokers and their families, researchers, innovators and funders of innovation, healthcare professionals who are trying to help smokers quit and reduce their health risks, and policy makers," said Farhad Riahi, MD, Chief Health, Science, and Technology Officer, Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.

Foundation Issues Multimillion Dollar Request for Proposals for Biomarker Development

Alongside its preliminary Health, Science, and Technology Agenda, the Foundation is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop objective biomarkers of tobacco and nicotine exposure that can discriminate between different nicotine-delivery product groups (e.g., cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, vapes, and nicotine replacement therapy).

Ending smoking will require research, including longitudinal studies to assess use patterns and outcomes of using traditional and emerging nicotine products. The Foundation's recently commissioned survey of the biomarker landscape shows that there is currently no biomarker or panel of biomarkers that can reliably discriminate between the use of different nicotine and tobacco products or identify dual or multiple use. Studies will benefit greatly from objective biomarkers of exposure and use-state, reducing reliance on self-reporting and surveys.

"As we interviewed researchers about their priorities and their needs, it quickly became clear that objective biomarkers of exposure would greatly improve the quality and reliability of research on people's use of different products, and that the Foundation could make a significant contribution by supporting research and innovation in this area," said Brian Erkkila, PhD, Director of Regulatory Science, Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, and former Lead Toxicologist at the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products.

The Foundation invites applicants with expertise in biomarkers to apply for scoping grants to develop full research proposals. Subsequently, the Foundation will fund up to three 2-year biomarker research projects, each with a budget of up to $3 million, for a total maximum grant budget of $9 million. Biomarkers will encompass both traditional biomarkers as well as digital biomarkers collected by biosensors, wearables, and other devices.

The biomarker submission process is detailed on the Foundation's website. The proposals are due by September 28, 2018.

The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World is an independent non-profit organization with the purpose of improving global health by ending smoking in this generation.

For more information about the Foundation, please visit

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Last Updated: 16-Aug-2018