Novel Therapeutics Delivery

Program Overview

The Novel Therapeutics Delivery program aims to foster the development of novel technologies and techniques for the delivery of existing or innovative therapies by working at the intersection of engineering, biology, chemistry, and medicine.

Up to $5 million capital dollars is available for the current program round, with each award anticipated to be up to $750,000 to support work and equipment at not-for-profit partners. The Novel Therapeutics Delivery program aims to capitalize and incentivize translational projects to address complex challenges in “therapeutic” delivery- from biomanufacturing, to targeted delivery, to biomaterials and more.

The application period will run from August 9, 2021 to November 19, 2021 at 1 p.m.

Eligibility & Evaluation

Applicants must be a Massachusetts legally organized “not-for-profit” entity such as an academic/research institution, a hospital engaged in research, business incubator or accelerator, or other not-for-profit entity that would be eligible for capital funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Institutions that are exclusively health care providers and/or requests for the purchase of equipment associated with standard healthcare delivery would not be eligible for capital funding.

Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be non-profit institutions, including research institutions and academic medical centers.
  • A Project Team, consisting of a principal investigator (PI) at Applicant institution and one (or more) Companies must submit each application. The Company will typically be a for-profit entity, but may include not-for-profits capable of technology commercialization/adoption, such as health insurance companies. Not-for-profits that are primarily funding organizations (disease foundations, other state or federal funding sources, etc.) will not fulfill this requirement.
  • The PI must have a full-time or part-time faculty position at a college, university, or non-profit institute in Massachusetts. The lead Company must have a presence and be registered to do business in Massachusetts.
  • The requested funding must support the performance of translational research addressing a complex challenge in delivery. The only use allowed of requested funds is toward the support of capital costs (equipment, supplies, reagents, etc.) at the Massachusetts non-profit institution.
  • It is the expectation, when applicable, that projects are inclusive of gender biology in the approach to pre-clinical/clinical development.
  • Projects will be evaluated, in part, based on the level of support offered to the Applicant in a commitment letter(s) which delineates the amount of cash, in-kind, and/or other contributions (equipment donation, cell lines, drug or material samples, internal salary, etc.) to be provided by the Company and any other sources (grantee institution, etc.). The more MLSC dollars leveraged by additional third party support, the stronger the application.
  • The Applicant will be required to provide documentation of a cash component from the Company to support at least one new postdoctoral scientist for the entire duration of the project following grant award. The salary must, at a minimum, follow the NIH pay scale plus fringe.
  • Applicants must demonstrate how they will work collaboratively with the Company to execute the project.
  • The intention of these funds is to catalyze new life science discoveries. Therefore, there will be no consideration of sponsored research agreements (or other similar arrangements) executed before November 19, 2021 between the parties as part of the letter of support for this program.
  • The Applicant and Company must comply with all other Massachusetts Life Sciences Center agreements, if any.
  • Applicants must demonstrate interest in the equipment and dataset (if applicable) by other academic and industry scientists. Resources developed/purchased under this award must be made available to other internal and external scientists.

An external panel of scientists from academia and industry with expertise in delivery/development of therapeutics and clinical care will review applications based on the following criteria:

  • Qualifications of the Team
  • Use of funds and value to the MA ecosystem
  • Proposed plan, unmet need/market opportunity, data generation and sharing (if applicable), scientist training, and approach to solving a key question.

Top applicants will be asked to present their proposed project plan to our review panel.

Please view the full list of eligibility requirements and evaluation process.


Post-award deliverables, confidentiality, and general conditions

Sample Application

Impact on the Ecosystem

Innovative new therapies are dependent on advancements in drug delivery. Increased drug complexity, the rise of biopharmaceuticals, novel therapeutic technologies, bioavailability challenges, and the demand for the demonstration of strong drug performance are all driving unprecedented technology innovation; however, the availability of such therapies is not accelerating at the rate with which technology is advancing. Existing therapies can also benefit from improved delivery methods and devices, increasing patient compliance and improving overall health.

Learn more about the 2020 and 2021 Novel Therapeutics Delivery awardees, including the principal investigator, industry partners, and the innovative projects.

Connect with us to Learn More

If you have any questions regarding the application process, e-mail: