Paving a new way

to therapeutic options

The UpCycle Drug Repurposing Grants Competition is a new mean by which the Cancer Research Society aims at accelerating the discovery of treatments for cancer patients.

Eligible projects should fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Screening of an approved compound library provided by the Cancer Research Society. See our FAQ for details.
  2. Computer-assisted or in silico screening followed by pharmacological validation of FDA-approved, off-patent, repurposed compounds.
  3. In cellulo or in vivo validation of an FDA-approved, off-patent drug with demonstrated drug repurposing potential.

Research must be performed using proteins or cells of human origin unless a compelling case can be made for another organism. Clinical studies are not eligible.

A scientific review committee will evaluate the letters of intent. A maximum of 10 research teams will be invited to submit a full application. Up to three grants will be offered.

Criteria for selection are: 

  • Scientific merit of the project
  • Proof of concept and demonstration of feasibility
  • Originality of the research plan
  • Potential impact on cancer patients

This competition is open to researchers across Canada.

Amount: a maximum of $100,000
Duration: 12 to 18 months
Start date: September 1, 2018

The Society wishes to establish a long-term collaboration with the selected teams that have achieved promising results. Rights of first look on future financing of selected projects and a fair return on the profits of a potential product will therefore be negotiated in good faith with the awarded teams. The Society does not claim any ownership of project results, but expects the selected teams to take the appropriate means available to protect their rights and the future exploitation of results, if any.

These conditions apply solely to the UpCycle Drug Repurposing Grants Competition.

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Key dates

2018-2019 grants

March 1, 2018 Letter of Intent instructions and form available online
* Submitting a letter of intent is mandatory. A main applicant cannot submit more than one letter of intent.

March 27, 2018, 11:59 pm (ET) Deadline for submitting the Letter of Intent

April 26, 2018 Results of the Letters of Intent are announced

April 26,  2018 Application instructions and form available online

June 19, 2018, 11:59 pm (ET) Deadline for submitting a full application *

August 2018 Results are announced following approval by the Cancer Research Society's Board of Directors

September 1, 2018 Payments to grantees begin


* Only invited applicants can submit a complete application. Invited applicants will receive an e-mail with the PIN assigned to their project no later than April 26, 2018. If by April 30, 2018 you have not received the result of your letter of intent, please contact us without delay at

Apply for a grant

Forms, reports and instructions

2018 Competition FAQ

The answers to your questions for the 2018 competition.

See the results

For any questions or support

Dajan O’Donnell, or 514 861-9227, ext. 234

Toll-free: 1 888 766-2262, ext. 234