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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

NIH/NIMH Therapeutics Discovery Research

NIMH supports early-stage therapeutic discovery and development, through first-in-human and early efficacy trials for mental disorders. This web page details the range of NIMH programs and resources related to therapeutic discovery and development, as well as complementary programs available through broader NIH efforts.

NIMH Drug and Device Development Pipeline
NIMH-specific Resource  
Multiple NIH Institutes/Centers
Genetic Variant Identification Genomic Functional Annotation Scalable cellular phenotypic measures Circuit Perturbations Identification of Novel Targets and Pathways/Target Engagement Discovery Preclinical Development Small (Pilot) Clinical Trials
Fine Mapping (RFA-MH-21-100)       Psychoactive Drug Screening Program Chemical Synthesis Program   First in Human and Early Stage Clinical Trials of Novel Investigational Drugs or Devices for Psychiatric Disorders (PAR-21-133)
PsychEncode Program       Behavioral Tasks Targeting Brain Systems Relevant to Anhedonia (PAR-20-235)   NIMH Clinical Trials Funding Opportunity Announcements
  Convergent Neuroscience (RFA-MH-21-165) Novel Assays to Address Translational Gaps in Treatment Development (PAR-19-214) Neuromodulation/Neurostimulation Device Development for Mental Health Applications (PAR-18-941, PAR-18-942)
    Cellular and Molecular Biology of Complex Brain Disorders (PAR-20-263, PAR-20-264) Building in vivo Preclinical Assays of Circuit Engagement for Application in Therapeutic Development PAR-19-289    
  Computational Methods for Integrating Tissue and Single Cell Genomic Data from the Brain (RFA-MH-20-300) Explainable Artificial Intelligence for Decoding and Modulating Neural Circuit Activity Linked to Behavior (PAR-19-344) Small Business Program SBIR & STTR
      Understanding and Modifying Temporal Dynamics of Coordinated Neural Activity (PAR-21-175, PAR-21-176) Engineering Next-Generation Human Nervous System Microphysiological Systems (PAR-20-055, PAR-20-082)    
        Assay development and screening for discovery of chemical probes, drugs or immunomodulators (PAR-20-271)    
          Discovery of cell-based (R21 PAR-21-028) and in vivo (R01 PAR-21-029) Chemical Probes    
          Drug Discovery for Nervous System Disorders (R21 PAR-19-146 and R01 PAR-19-147)  
        Development and Application of PET and SPECT Imaging Ligands as Biomarkers for Drug Discovery and for Pathophysiological Studies of CNS Disorders (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed PAR-20-037 and R01 Clinical Trial Optional PAR-20-038)
        National Cooperative Drug/Device Discovery/Development Groups (NCDDG) for the Treatment of Mental or Substance Use Disorders or Alcohol Disorder (U01 Clinical Trial Optional PAR-20-118 and U19 Clinical Trial Optional PAR-20-119)
        Illuminating the Druggable Genome Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network
            Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network-Biologics
          HEAL Initiative: Planning Studies for Initial Analgesic Development Initial Translational Efforts [Small Molecules and Biologics] (R34 RFA-NS-21-016) and Team Research for Initial Translational Efforts in Non-addictive Analgesic Therapeutics Development (U19 RFA-NS-21-015)  

Strategic Plan

Extramural Divisions Supporting Therapeutics Research and Trials

Information Relevant to Therapeutics Discovery FOAs