Back in 2016, FSR began our Sarcoidosis Disease Model program with a Request For Applications for research projects that looked for a viable disease model for sarcoidosis. In the years since, we’ve awarded $1,050,000 towards multiple promising projects through a competitive application process. This program is the first of its kind for the sarcoidosis space, and a substantial investment in research. But what does it mean for patients?

What is a Sarcoidosis Disease Model?

A disease model is a tool to help researchers understand the pathogenesis or mechanisms behind a specific disease. This model can be within a living organism, like an animal model. It can also be a cellular model, or even a computer simulation. A disease model for sarcoidosis will be a characterization of the disease outside of the human body, allowing for researchers to study the disease in more depth. While other diseases like ALS have existing disease models, unfortunately there is not yet a viable sarcoidosis disease model. 

Why is a Sarcoidosis Disease Model important?

Disease models allow researchers to study how and why a disease occurs, and test potential treatments. With a sarcoidosis-specific model, researchers will be able to gather important pre-clinical data that is needed for more advanced research to move forward. This is particularly crucial in the drug development process; with a viable disease model for sarcoidosis, new and experimental treatments can be developed and tested on the model(s) to determine efficacy and safety before moving on to clinical trials with human participants. Learn more about the drug development process on the FDA website.

FSR recognizes and continues to address that there is an essential need for pre-clinical data in the sarcoidosis research space. Only through this data will we be able to better map out the disease-causing mechanisms of sarcoidosis and its complications. By funding multiple disease model projects, FSR aims to push research one step closer to understanding this highly complex disease so we can find better treatment options for all patients. 

Noopur Signh

Director of Research Programs, Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research

The aim of our program is to fund projects that show promise of producing a widely agreed-upon model for sarcoidosis, as well as creating new interest in the sarcoidosis research space for larger investors. Five projects were funded at a total of $750,000 from 2017-2019, with three of those projects being awarded a continuation of funding totaling an additional $300,000 investment.