CHICAGO, July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education (NIPTE) has signed a contract with SAIC-Frederick, Inc. in support of the National Institutes of Health's Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND). TRND is a translational program housed in the NIH's newly established National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation. The program aims to speed the development of new drugs for rare and neglected diseases. TRND stimulates drug discovery and development research collaborations among NIH and academic scientists, nonprofit organizations, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies working on rare and neglected illnesses. TRND bridges the gap that often exists between a basic research discovery and the testing of new drugs in humans. To close the gap, TRND invests in optimization and preclinical testing of potential investigational new drugs for rare and neglected diseases, with the goal to generate sufficient quality data to support successful Investigational New Drug (IND) applications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and first-in-human studies as necessary. "We are honored to have been chosen as a part on this important program," said Vadim Gurvich, NIPTE associate director and a research faculty member at the University of Minnesota. "Developing therapies for rare and neglected diseases is the area where the academic research can really make a difference". "Supporting this program is a significant achievement for our organization that was created with the goal to advance new therapies to the market," said NPTE executive director Prabir Basu. "This is a milestone for our translational programs in NIPTE and its member institutions." About NIPTE: NIPTE, Inc. is an academic not-for-profit organization dedicated to fundamental research and education in pharmaceutical product development and manufacturing. NIPTE's goal is to increase science and engineering-based understanding of this area so that novel state-of- the-art technologies can be developed and science-based regulations can be implemented. These technologies will also enable new drug discoveries to be brought to market faster with less variability, higher predictability of performance and at a significantly lower cost.