Cure SMA is committed to supporting the most promising SMA research, with more than $82 million in funding to date.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to ensure continued resources for the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patient community, Cure SMA will not issue a request for basic research or drug discovery proposals during the 2020 calendar year. We will post information about our 2021 RFP cycle as soon as it becomes available.



Cure SMA issues requests for proposals in three major research areas:

  • Basic Research: investigate the causes and biology of SMA, revealing new, more effective ways of treating.

  • Drug Discovery: Converts basic research ideas into new drug candidates.

  • Newborn Screening: Supports state labs in implementing and conducting newborn screening for SMA.

Our basic research program is directed by our Scientific Advisory Board, and our drug discovery program by our Translational Advisory Council—both groups of independent experts who carefully evaluate each proposal for scientific excellence and relevance to the Cure SMA mission.

Cure SMA’s research model is intended to attract industry and government funding for clinical trials. Thus, we do not typically issue RFPs in this area. Instead, we focus on clinical trial readiness, infrastructure, and on connecting researchers with potential study participants.

We fund clinical care research through our Cure SMA Care Center Network, and do not typically issue separate RFPs in this area.

For general questions on our research funding model and RFP process for basic research, drug discovery, and newborn screening, please email [email protected]. For questions on the Cure SMA Care Center Network, please contact [email protected].



Basic Research Funding Opportunities

Each year, our Scientific Advisory Board identifies priorities for funding, which are released in RFPs. Once submitted, all proposals are evaluated using a scoring system based on both scientific quality and relevance to the Cure SMA research mission.

Current RFP

We do not currently have an RFP open for basic research. Please check back often for an announcement on the expected timing of our next basic research RFP. Email Cure SMA’s Research Team at [email protected].

Past Funding

See more information about the basic research programs that we have funded:

Drug Discovery Funding Opportunities

Cure SMA has invested tens of million in drug discovery since 2000. Our pre-clinical drug discovery program invests funding in innovative and promising projects that will lead directly to creating viable drugs for treating SMA.

Current RFP

We do not currently have an RFP open for drug discovery. Please check back often for an announcement on the expected timing of our next drug discovery RFP. Email Cure SMA’s Research Team at [email protected].

Past Funding

See more information about the drug discovery programs that we have funded:

Newborn Screening Funding Opportunities

Cure SMA provides funding for newborn screening programs to help state laboratories implement and conduct newborn screening for SMA. This will enable states to pre-symptomatically identify and treat pediatric SMA patients.

Current RFP

We do not currently have an RFP open for newborn screening. Please check back often for an announcement on the expected timing of our next RFP cycle. Email Cure SMA’s Research Team at [email protected].

Funding Priorities

Funding may be proportional to state population and number of infants screened annually. A list of possible funded activities includes, but it is not limited to:

Screening Implementation Support:

  • Pilot Screening
  • Assay validation
  • Additional personnel and staff training
  • Equipment needed to perform the assay
  • IT resources to perform the assay

Data Gathering/Patient Follow-up and Support:

  • Collection of data on infants identified as SMA positive via NBS including, but not limited, collaborations with Cure SMA
  • Appropriate personnel/resources to ensure adequate patient referral/counseling.