Excite program

The University of Louisville ExCITE (Expediting Commercialization, Innovation, Translation, and Entrepreneurship) program administers support by developing infrastructure for identifying technologies, allocating funding for product definition studies, providing access to early-stage development expertise and offering hands-on skills development in entrepreneurism.

ExCITE technologies must originate from the University of Louisville and be eligible for intellectual property protection (or have some other potential to return income to the program). There is no disease-specific requirement, but each application/proposal will be reviewed carefully for technical consistency and other criteria before funding is determined.

Applicants can request funding for anything that will make the technology more attractive to the private sector, including specific development studies that have been requested by potential investors, licensees or partners. 

The purpose of the NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) is to support proof-of-concept centers (hubs) that facilitate and accelerate the translation of biomedical innovations into commercial products that improve patient care and enhance health.

The long-term goals of the program are to foster commercialization success, economic development and entrepreneurial culture change at each hub institution.


» review process




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    Who you are

    UofL faculty, staff or student with an entrepreneurial streak and an idea for an innovative health care technology.


    What you get

    • Up to $200,000 in grant funding; 
    • Support in commercialization process.


    Application deadline

    • Day, Month, Year



    It is important to note that the ExCITE program is not a traditional grant program; it is product-focused and requires business-case project management. Applicants who are invited to submit a full application will work with a mentor to develop a product development plan and timeline.. Receipt of funding for s elected projects will be milestone-driven and ExCITE staff will monitor project progress. 

    There will be a continuation evaluation (go/no-go decision) about every 6 months and non-progressing projects may be terminated and replaced with new projects. ExCITE-funded projects may require a commitment to return a portion of any subsequent income back to the program.


    This RFA is open to all UofL faculty, staff, trainees, and students. Non-faculty applicants must identify a UofL faculty member who is willing to sponsor their application. Applications must focus on developing products that have the potential to improve patient care or enhance human health. All types of products (e.g. therapeutic, preventative, device, test, software) are eligible.

    There is no disease-specific requirement, but some funds are restricted: of the $1M/year available,, at least $150,000 must support lung cancer-related projects and at least $200,000 must support projects focusing on plant-produced pharmaceuticals.

    Applications should involve ideas that originate from UofL (making them potentially eligible for patent protection or some other mechanism t hat will return income to the program) or UofL-derived technologies with pending/issued patents or copyright . Technologies that are already licensed to a company are not eligible. Having multiple Principal Investigators (up to three) is optional but permitted.

    Previously funded projects from Cycles 1 through 4 are eligible for competitive renewal.

    Budget and Duration

    Requests for $50,0000 to $100,0000 total per project, over a period of up to 12 months, will be considered.     


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    Sarah Andres




    Pre-application deadline: August 7, 2017

    Full applications invited: August 22, 2017

    Full application due: October 2, 201 7 (invitation only)

    Full application presentations: October 26, 2017

    Award notices: January 2, 2018 (estimated) 

    exCITE review PROCESS

    Administrative review of pre-applications

    The ExCITE hub staff will review pre-applications to determine if they are responsive to the RFA and may exclude any that are unsuitable for this program.

    Scientific and commercialization review of pre-applications

    Responsive pre-applications will be reviewed based on various criteria, including scientific merit, clinical relevance, intellectual property (IP) position, market potential, time to market, and ExCITE portfolio diversity.

    Pre-application reviewers will include faculty with scientific, clinical, and/or entrepreneurship expertise, plus Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) staff who will assess patentability and commercialization potential.

    Next steps

    All applicants who submit a pre-application will be notified of the outcome (invited or not invited to submit a full application) on or around August 22, 2017.

    Those who were not invited will receive a brief description of why their pre-application was not selected and will be encouraged to meet with ExCITE hub staff to discuss the possibility of resubmission. Invited applicants will receive further instructions regarding preparation of the full application.

    Submission of a full application will involve additional training in research commercialization and working with mentors to create a detailed product development plan.

    While a UofL Research Disclosure Form is not required to submit a pre-application, completion of this form will be required prior to full proposal submission. Final funding decisions will be made following review by the ExCITE External Review Board (EERB) and from the NIH Technology Review Committee (TRC).   


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    sarah andres


    Excite Funded Projects

    The University of Louisville ExCITE Program is an NIH REACH Hub designed to turn biomedical innovations into commercial products that improve patient care and enhance human health. Each awarded technology has been through a competitive and stringent review by representatives from the pharmaceutical industry, NIH, FDA, CMS and USPTO. Awardees receive a grant of up to $200,000 for commercialization purposes while also receiving focused mentorship, training and access to the NIH REACH network. 


    Development of A Small Molecule Inhibitor Of PFKFB4 for Cancer Treatment

    • Category: Small Molecule
    • Disease: Lung Cancer
    • PI: Sucheta Telang
    • Intellectual Property: PCT Application PCT/US2016/28868


    Cancer-Targeted Contrast Agent for MRI and CT Imaging

    • Category: Imaging
    • Disease: Cancer
    • PI: Mohammad Tariq Malik
    • Intellectual Property: PCT Application PCT/US2016/30985, 
    • US. Patent Application 14/122,617, and related European Patents


    Anti-Cancer Drug Targeting RAS

    • Category: Therapeutic
    • Disease: Cancer
    • PI: Geoffrey Clark
    • Intellectual Property: Provisional Application 62/196,336


    Next Generation Local Anesthetic Agent

    • Category: Small Molecule
    • Disease: Pain
    • PI: Jeffrey C Petruska
    • Intellectual Property: Provisional Application 62/251,162


    Dry-Formulated Plant-Produced Cholera Toxin B Subunit

    • Category: Biologics
    • Disease: Ulcerative Colitis
    • PI: Krystal Hamorsky
    • Intellectual Property: U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 14/005,388, PCT/Us2016/40041


    A Plasma microRNA Assay for Detecting Colorectal Neoplasm Diagnosis

    • Category: Diagnostics
    • Disease: Colorectal Cancer
    • PI: Susan Galandiuk
    • Intellectual Property: U.S. Non-Provisional Patent Application #15/062,419
    • U.S. Provisional Patent Application #62/319,003


    Immunotherapeutic Agent for the Treatment of Cancer

    • Category: Biologic Drug
    • Disease: Advanced Melanoma
    • PI: Kavitha Yaddanapudi
    • Intellectual Property: U.S. Provisional Patent Application # 62/306,946


    Development 0f A Mutated Human Parvovirus B19 Vaccine

    • Category: Vaccine
    • Disease: Parvovirus B19
    • PI: Alfred Bennett Jenson
    • Intellectual Property:PCT Application, #PCT/US2015/019664


    Non-invasive real-time assessment of coronary stenosis using RBC AGE

    • Category: Diagnostic Software
    • Disease: Coronary Artery Disease
    • PI: Eric Berson
    • Intellectual Property: Provisional Application 62/365,060


    Development of Carbapenemase Detection Test

    • Category: Diagnostic Device
    • Disease: Antibiotic Resistance
    • PI: Gina K. Thomson
    • Intellectual Property: Provisional Application No. 62/374,116


    Avaren-Fc Lectibody for liver graft protection against hepatitis C virus infection

    • Category: Therapeutic
    • Disease: Hepatitis C
    • PI: Nobuyuki Matoba
    • Intellectual Property: Patent no. US 8802822 B2, and Patent no. US 9133252 B2

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    MEET THE Excite TEAM

    Paula Bates, PhD
    Contact Principal Investigator
    Department of Medicine
    Expertise: Drug Development, Mechanistic Studies
    Email Paula Bates


    Donald M. Miller, MD, PhD
    Co-Principal Investigator
    Director, James Graham Brown Cancer Center
    Expertise: Drug Development, Clinical Oncology
    Email Donald Miller


    Christopher L. Barton, JD, PhD
    Technology Manager, Technology Transfer
    Office of Technology Transfer
    Expertise: Technology Evaluation and Transfer
    Email Christopher Barton


    J. Brad Chaires, PhD
    Department of Medicine
    Expertise: Biophysics, Devices, Diagnostics
    Email J. Brad Chaires


    Holly Symonds Clark, PhD
    Deputy Director, Technology Transfer
    Office of Technology Transfer
    Expertise: Technology Transfer, Education
    Email Holly Symonds Clark


    Matthew J. Hawthorne, JD, MBA
    Director, Industry Engagement
    Office of Industry Engagement
    Expertise: Tech Transfer, Industry Engagement, Education
    Email Matthew Hawthorne


    Kenneth E. Palmer, PhD
    Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology
    Expertise: Vaccines, Peptides, Plant-based Drugs
    Email Kenneth Palmer


    Eugene B. Krentsel, PhD
    Co-Principal Investigator
    Associate VP for Research & Innovation
    Expertise: Entrepreneurship, Technology Transfer
    Email Eugene Krentsel


    Sarah Andres, PhD
    Scientific Coordinator
    Cancer Center
    Expertise: Drug Development, Mechanistic Studies
    Email Sarah Andres


    Rebecca Brown
    ExCITE Program Manager
    Expertise: Neuroscience, Programming
    Email Rebecca Brown


    Jason A. Chesney, MD, PhD
    Department of Medicine
    Expertise: Preclinical Studies, Clinical Oncology
    Email Jason Chesney


    John W. Eaton, PhD
    Department of Medicine
    Expertise: Cell-based Therapies, Devices
    Email John Eaton


    Robert S. Keynton, PhD
    Department of Bioengineering
    Expertise: Nanotechnology, Devices
    Email Robert Keynton


    T. Allen Morris, PhD
    Director, Technology Transfer
    Office of Technology Transfer
    Expertise: Technology Transfer, Education
    Email Allen Morris


    John O. Trent, PhD
    Department of Medicine
    Expertise: Drug Development, Small Molecules
    Email John Trent


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