Cytokinetics calls for proposals for 6th Communications Grant Program

$20K grant will go to help ALS patient advocacy group

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by Mary Chapman |

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Cytokinetics is calling for proposals from patient advocacy organizations focused on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and cardiovascular conditions for its 6th annual Communications Grant Program.

The 2024 program will award five grants totaling $20,000 each to groups serving the ALS, heart failure, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy communities. These grants will support the organizations’ efforts to improve communications, expand community engagement, and increase disorder awareness.

A total of four awards will be given to cardiovascular projects and one will go to an ALS organization. The applications deadline is Nov. 1 and grant recipients will be announced in January.

“We are proud to continue our tradition of supporting patient advocacy organizations in their efforts to prioritize and nurture critical communications and outreach initiatives,” Mary Pomerantz, Cytokinetics senior director of patient advocacy and engagement, said in a company press release.

“Over the past five years, our Communications Grant Program has funded creative and urgently needed programs that have helped expand patient reach, connect communities and elevate patient voices,” Pomerantz said, adding, “We look forward to receiving new proposals and once again contributing to the goals and objectives of patient advocacy organizations.”

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Grant proposals sought for improving communication, increasing awareness

The grants target new or ongoing communication, marketing, or outreach initiatives that, without the funding, would be challenging to implement or continue. Depending on organizational needs, the grants could help support programming or personnel.

To be eligible, organizations must serve one of the three patient communities and have nonprofit or registered charity status in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom, or in Europe. Proposals must specify activities the funding would support as well as its potential impact. At the end of the funding year, recipients must provide Cytokinetics with an outcomes report.

A committee of Cytokinetics representatives will evaluate submissions based on selection criteria regarding reach, awareness, community engagement, and impact. Evaluation criteria is broken down into four categories:

  • For the reach category, efforts must expand the organization’s outreach to its patient community. Examples include reaching new constituents, fortifying existing relationships or networks, creating new partnerships, and strengthening an existing program to connect with a broader or different population.
  • In the awareness category, efforts must seek to educate others about the disorder and its symptoms, treatments, and other aspects. The goal is to build awareness. These efforts also may heighten the patient voice with key stakeholders, for example, by amplifying patient and caregiver experiences.
  • In the community engagement category, efforts must aim to increase involvement with patients and/or caregivers by enabling new ways of linking the organization to the community, or by strengthening existing engagement programs.
  • For the impact category, organizations are asked to include in their proposal how they plan to feasibly measure the success of their efforts. This can be through key performance indicators or other ways the group develops to measure outcomes. If a grant would likely help the organization attract other project funding, proposals should indicate that as well.

Among the grant program recipients last year were the Northeast Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Consortium and the ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter.

For more information about the grant program or on what’s needed for proposals, send an email to [email protected].

Cytokinetics had previously been developing reldesemtiv to slow muscle function decline in people with ALS. However, the Phase 3 program was discontinued after interim data failed to demonstrate an improvement in clinical outcomes over a placebo. The company now is focusing its efforts on therapies for cardiovascular conditions, with no other treatments for ALS in its pipeline.