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International call for research proposals on rare cancer drug development

Rare cancers call for projects - ATTRACT consortium

The Anticancer Fund announces the launch of a call for research projects in the treatment of rare cancers, together with five other organisations. It is the second time this consortium, ATTRACT, funds clinical trials to stimulate the development of better treatments for rare cancer patients.

ATTRACT is the first international initiative to accelerate drug development for rare cancers by funding cross-border clinical academic research. Building on the success of the first edition (ATTRACT 2023), we are excited to organise a second call for projects in September 2024. We invite European researchers and clinicians from different countries to unite and collaborate in setting up late phase (phase 2/3) international clinical trials that aim to advance the development of better drug therapy for rare cancer patients.

Rare cancers are under-researched

Rare cancers account for as many as 20% of new cancer cases. Yet, for most of them, there are hardly any specific, effective drugs available, leaving patients with limited or no treatment options. Main hurdle for rare cancer drug development is the small patient populations, resulting in limited interest from the industry and difficulties in setting up clinical trials with adequate statistical power. International collaborations are necessary, and require appropriate funding.

Therefore, 6 European anticancer charities have joined forces to give an impulse to the field of rare cancer research: Anticancer Fund (Belgium), Scientific Foundation of the Spanish Association Against Cancer (Spain), Fondation ARC (France), Kom op tegen Kanker (Belgium), KWF Dutch Cancer Society (the Netherlands) and, joining the consortium for this new edition, Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research (Switzerland).

The bold ambition of this joint funding 

We are pioneering with this partnership to tackle the funding gap for international research projects in the field of rare cancer therapeutics. Our ambitious aim is to improve the treatment of rare cancers by helping new drug innovations from research into clinical practice, making the best possible treatments accessible to rare cancer patients everywhere.

We renew our commitment to this goal by setting up the ATTRACT 2025 call to stimulate academic and/or clinical/public health sector research groups to set up innovative transnational projects addressing this challenge.

Applicants from the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain are invited to submit collaborative proposals and are welcome to involve inclusion centers from other countries as well, preferably located within geographical Europe.

More information on the call for projects 

The ATTRACT 2025 call has an indicative budget of up to 12.4 million euros and opens in September 2024. The call-text, specific guidelines for applicants and a preview of the pre-proposal application form will be announced on the specific call-website prior to opening of the call. A dedicated Question & Answer Session (webinar) for applicants will be held online in September.