Novartis Office of Grants & Education
Request for Proposal (RFP) - Professional Medical Education

The Novartis Office of Grants & Education (NOGE) supports independent high-quality medical educational programs which provide fair-balanced, evidence-based, current scientific information to healthcare professionals in order to positively improve patient care. Activities should have an educational focus, be independent of commercial bias and be non-promotional in nature. NOGE will perform these duties in compliance with laws, regulations and guidelines as established by the ACCME, PhRMA Code, OIG, other regulatory agencies and in compliance with Novartis guidelines and policies.

Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (CSU)

RFP Issued: August 18, 2023
Applications Due to Novartis: October 2, 2023 
Notification of Grant Decisions: By End of October 2023
Educational Programming Starts: Late Q4 2023 / Early Q1 2024

Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is a chronic, disabling disease characterized by the occurrence of wheals (hives), angioedema or both for greater than six weeks1,2. CSU has been shown to have a significant impact on patients’ quality of life, including sleep, daily activity, work productivity, and emotional well-being, leading to a significant humanistic and economic burden2. The diagnostic algorithm of CSU is completed via a thorough patient history1. However, the delay from symptom onset to diagnosis is approximately two years2.

The signs and symptoms of CSU are due to activation of skin mast cells1. At least two possible causes of CSU are recognized – type I autoimmune (autoallergic) and type IIb autoimmune3. Type I autoimmune CSU is characterized by the production IgE antibodies to self-antigens (autoallergens), whereas type IIb autoimmune CSU is characterized by the production IgG to IgE or FcεRI3. Central to both endotypes is Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK), a cytoplasmic enzyme which is the positive regulator of FcεRI-mediated mast cell activation and cytokine production4. Despite significant advances in the understanding of CSU etiology and pathogenesis, further research is warranted4.

The first-line therapy for CSU is second-generation H1-antihistamines1. However, up to 60% of patients remain symptomatic despite treatment with second-generation H1-antihistamines2. Moreover, few patients are escalated to more advanced care, which may contribute to the significant impact on patients’ quality of life2.

Innovative strategies to better understanding underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms and optimal management pathways are needed to improve the care of CSU patients, which may in turn lead to improvements in quality of life and better health outcomes for these patients.

    NOGE has identified the need for innovative continuing medical education programs that strive to optimize patient outcomes through education on Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (CSU) including increasing awareness and knowledge of the disease burden, the role of BTK in the disease pathophysiology, and the latest clinical trial data available for BTK inhibitors under investigation for the treatment of CSU.

    NOGE can consider support for innovative educational programs:

    • Live/Virtual programs with enduring component (stand alone or in conjunction with Allergy/Dermatology-related medical societies, congresses)
    • Web-based programs (i.e. expert commentary, webcast, interactive patient cases, microburst education, gamification, etc.)

    Note: All aspects of the Program(s) including location and placement are independent of Novartis. 

    Regional, and/or Local

    Note: Applications for this RFP must be US focused for the audience, expert faculty, educational needs, and standards of care.

    Allergists, Dermatologists, Allergy and Dermatology nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. 

    Educational providers should include the target number of participants. Further, please include details on proposed audience recruitment. 

    Please note: Novartis will not participate in the distribution of invitations to the CME/CE event(s).

    Multiple single-support or multi-support initiatives may be funded; Up to USD 200 000 in total support is available.

    Grant applications must be submitted by the Accredited Provider (or the Office of CME if from an Academic Institution) electronically via the Online Portalby 5 PM EST on October 2, 2023 to be considered.

    The grant application should include “RFP Response” within the Program Title [example: “RFP Response: Program Title”].

    Proposals that include collaborations with third parties, including (but not limited to), medical societies, health education companies/centers, not-for-profit organizations, and academic institutions, are encouraged, as appropriate. 

    For grant request submission information, FAQs, and eligibility criteria, please visit:

    If you have any questions regarding this RFP, you should only contact The Novartis Office of Grants & Education via email at: [email protected].
    [Please title the subject of your email: “RFP CSU 2023”].
    **Please submit under “Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria” in the Grants System**


    1. Zuberbier T, Abdul Latiff AH, Abuzakouk M, et al. The international EAACI/GA2LEN/EuroGuiDerm/APAAACI guideline for the definition, classification, diagnosis, and management of urticaria. Allergy. 2022;77(3):734-766.
    2. Maurer M, Abuzakouk M, Bérard F, et al. The burden of chronic spontaneous urticaria is substantial: Real-world evidence from ASSURE-CSU. Allergy. 2017;72(12):2005-2016.
    3. Kolkhir P, Muñoz M, Asero R, et al. Autoimmune chronic spontaneous urticaria. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2022;149(6):1819-1831.
    4. Kolkhir P, Giménez-Arnau AM, Kulthanan K, Peter J, Metz M, Maurer M. Urticaria. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2022;8(1):61.