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XSeed Award

XSeed Award Logo

Creating a stronger, more diverse life science ecosystem by funding talented scientists and entrepreneurs in New York City from traditionally underfunded and underrepresented groups working to bring promising translational research to patients.

2024 Submission Cycle

Applications Open

April 8

Submission Deadline

June 14

Finalist Announcement

June 21

Virtual Finalists Presentation

July 12

Winners Notified

September 2

In-Person Award Ceremony at Cure

October

About the challenge

The XSeed Award provides critical funding to translate scientific discoveries into commercially successful drug therapies. The 2024 XSeed awards will provide two teams up to $250,000 for New York City minority- and women-led life science and healthcare startups working on novel drug development projects.

Additionally, the winning teams will join the ecosystem of Cure.®, a healthcare innovation campus in New York City. The teams will receive peer-learning and office hours with investors, entrepreneurs, and business experts. Through the XSeed Award cohort, the winners will bolster their network and significantly raise their visibility. Graduates of each cohort will also serve as mentors and coaches for future cohorts, further strengthening the entrepreneurial community in New York City.

The XSeed Award Leadership Committee members will judge submitted proposals to select the winning teams. Winners will be announced in October 2024.

Deerfield Management Company and the New York City Economic Development Corporation launched the XSeed Award as a yearly program in 2020. Deerfield funds the award, and Advancium Health Network, an independent non-profit organization launched by Deerfield and dedicated to advancing healthcare, has helped operationalize the XSeed Awards since 2022. Cure is an affiliate of Deerfield.

The Prize

Two awards up to $250,000

Awards will be provided to two teams of minority- and women-led startups working on novel drug development in New York City. The winning teams also will join the Cure ecosystem for entrepreneurship mentoring and networking.

XSeed Award Details

Overview

The XSeed Award provides critical funding to translate scientific discoveries into commercially successful drug therapies. The 2024 XSeed awards will provide two teams up to $250,000 for New York City minority- and women-led life science and healthcare startups working on novel drug development projects.

Additionally, the winning teams will join the ecosystem of Cure.®, a healthcare innovation campus in New York City. The teams will receive peer-learning and office hours with investors, entrepreneurs, and business experts. Through the XSeed Award cohort, the winners will bolster their network and significantly raise their visibility. Graduates of each cohort will also serve as mentors and coaches for future cohorts, further strengthening the entrepreneurial community in New York City.

The XSeed Award Leadership Committee members judges submitted proposals to select the winning teams. Winners will be announced in October 2024.

Deerfield Management Company and the New York City Economic Development Corporation launched the XSeed Award as a yearly program in 2020. Deerfield funds the award, and Advancium Health Network, an independent non-profit organization launched by Deerfield and dedicated to advancing healthcare, has helped operationalize the XSeed Awards since 2022. Cure is an affiliate of Deerfield.

FAQ

GENERAL
Q: What is the XSeed Award?

A: The XSeed Award is focused on advancing transformational science to address compelling unmet medical needs and advancing an environment of diversity and inclusion. The annual award program, with up to two awards funded, provides grant money to a diverse population of the most talented researchers and entrepreneurs in New York City. It helps address a critical funding gap, bridging promising translational research to marketplace and commercial success.

PROJECT SUBMISSION
Q: Who is eligible to apply?

A: Entrepreneurs and Principal Investigators whose full-time employer is located within New York City or who have an academic appointment at a NYC-based Institution are eligible to apply.

Q: How can I apply?

A: To submit an application, please visit the Proposal Submission Page to begin. Please do not submit any confidential information. All information submitted will be considered and treated as non-confidential.

Q: Can I submit more than one proposal?

A: Applicants are limited to one proposal submission per cycle.

Q: Does the XSeed award have a therapeutic area of interest?

A: We encourage applicants of all therapeutic areas to apply to the 2024 submission cycle.

Q: How many application cycles are there in a year?

A: There will be one application cycle per year.

PROJECT SELECTION
Q: How are applications selected?

A: The Committee Members will select two teams that will receive up to $250,000 each. Finalists will have the opportunity to present their startups to a panel of Leadership Committee Members.

Q: Who will be reviewing my proposal?

A: The applications will be reviewed by the members of the Leadership Committee, which includes the following members for 2024: Joseph Pearlberg, MD, PhD, Committee Co-Chair and Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Deerfield Management; Christine Brideau, PhD, Vice President of Preclinical Pharmacology at Deerfield Discovery and Development (3DC); Glennis Mehra, PhD, Director of Biolabs@NYULangone; Claire Pomeroy, MD, MBA, President, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation; and Jane Williams, MD, MPH, Vice President, head of Neuroscience, Rare Disease and Pediatrics at Syneos Health.

Q: What are the contents of the Letter of Intent/Application?

A: The Letter of Intent/Application is located on the submission portal. Applicants can access it by creating a profile and beginning the process by visiting – apply.xseedaward.com. The application will ask you to address the following:

  • Applicant demographics

  • Indication

  • Modality

  • Target

  • Stage of Development

  • Existing intellectual property

  • Total budget request

In addition, applicants will be required to attach a one-page summary that outlines three key areas listed below:

  1. What is the problem you are hoping to address and the advantages of your approach?

  2. What is the unmet clinical need and disadvantages of current approaches?

  3. The hypothesis and biological rationale, and why your team is the best to accomplish your research goal.

Finalists selected will be asked to present their project to a panel of Committee members, summarizing all points in their application and highlighting the specific aims of their research. Selected finalists will be notified through email at least one week prior to the presentation date.

Q: What does project acceptance include?

A: In addition to receiving award funding, the winning teams and finalists will have access to the Cure ecosystem and certain programs including Women in Science. The teams will have access to investors, entrepreneurs, and business experts. Through the XSeed Award it is anticipated that these startups will bolster their network and significantly raise their visibility.

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Archives

2021-2022 Submission Cycle

2021-2022 Key Research Focus - Neurodegeneration

Currently Closed

Despite significant investment in the area of neurodegeneration, our understanding of the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases remains limited and our ability to bring new therapeutics to patients is lacking. At the same time, novel technological advances such as those in genetics, proteomics, imaging, single cell sequencing, and epitranscriptomics, stem cell biology, and organoids, have afforded new approaches to understanding the complex nature of neurodegenerative diseases, including the interplay of different cell types, the ability to monitor surrogate markers of disease progression, genetic modifiers of disease phenotype, and the ability to parse the differences among neurodegenerative diseases with overlapping clinical features.

The purpose of this RFA is to solicit proposals that provide novel approaches that address key questions regarding the pathogenesis, progression, diagnosis, or treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. This RFA anticipates that successful proposals will describe work that lies on the continuum of basic science and translational medicine. Neurodegenerative diseases that affect either the central or peripheral nervous system are in scope, including, but not limited to: Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia, tauopathies in general, Huntington’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Spinocerebellar Atrophy, and Parkinson’s Disease.

Examples of areas of research that will be considered include, but are not limited to:

● Development of novel cellular and animal models, such as iPSCs and brain organoids that recapitulate the relevant pathophysiological pathways for study of neurodegeneration ● Novel biomarker approaches, including biochemical and imaging biomarkers, for patient selection strategies or monitoring the course of disease ● Identification of novel chemical matter or biologics for therapeutic intervention for known cellular targets that are implicated in neurodegeneration ● Identification of novel targets with supporting genetic validation ● Approaches that establish causality of known variants or establish common pathways that disparate variants converge on ● Approaches that modulate or explore mechanisms related to the immune system or inflammatory processes as a therapeutic approach

Beginning on November 1, applicants interested in the Xseed Grant Award will complete an online Letter of Intent along with a one-page non-confidential executive summary outlining the specific aims of the project.

The 2021-2022 submission cycle will close at 11:59 PM EST on January 7th, 2022.

All information provided in the proposal submission is non-confidential.

2020-2021 Submission Cycle

Grant Application 2020-2021

Currently Closed

Applicants interested in the XSeed Grant Award will complete an online Letter of Intent addressing: Novelty, Genetics and Biologic Rationale. A one-page Non-Confidential Executive Summary outlining the specific aims of the project should be included with the Letter of Intent submission. To view more details about the Proposal Process and/or begin the application process, please click here. 2020 – 2021 Key Research Focus – Anti-infectives The 2020-2021 submission cycle will close on January 29, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST.

All information provided in the proposal submission is non-confidential.

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