NIH

This op-ed appeared online on Roll Call July 31, 2015. New technology such as CRISPR-Cas9, a genuine scientific breakthrough, is raising hope for patients with cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia and other major health threats. The gene editing tool, used in precision medicine, allows changes to be introduced into the DNA of any living cell— potentially enabling repair of disease causing mutations, neutralization of disease carrying insects, and much more. This technology, developed with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), is an example of the realization of the promise of innovative research funded by our federal science...
Strange bedfellows? Not when it comes to research advocacy. On Monday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich joined Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD-07) to press for more R&D in the bioscience arena. Not every topic is one on which Senator Warren and Speaker Gingrich agree , but they found common ground in the benefits that could come from another NIH doubling. The drumbeat for medical research continues apace. The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) released what is sure to be an influential report this week, Advancing Medical Innovation for a Healthier America . Focused on the development phase of the discovery, development, delivery continuum, the...
Dear Research Advocate: Congress has postponed further action on patent reform. Concern over provisions in the legislation poured in from a broad coalition within the life sciences community, including universities, patient advocates, and the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. BIO’s Jim Greenwood and PhRMA’s John Castellani penned a compelling op-ed on the topic for The Hill . Now there is more work to be done as policymakers and advocates continue the conversation about reforming our nation’s patent system. Stay tuned. Momentum for a two-year extension of the R&D tax credit is building in the Senate. The Senate Finance Committee, spearheaded by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), voted...
Dear Research Advocate, The “moment” for research that we’ve been experiencing on Capitol Hill is being echoed by Presidential candidates; is this perhaps the start of a wave of conversation on the campaign trail? On Tuesday, the Senate Commerce Committee, which is not the committee of jurisdiction for NIH or FDA, or intellectual property, held a hearing on these very topics. Committee Chairman and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX) framed the hearing as an opportunity to explore strategies for speeding cures to patients. The hearing might have devolved into an “FDA regulation is bad” fest, and to be honest there was some of that, but the Senators present, along with the witnesses,...
I am sending my letter early this Thursday to give readers who support the NIH and FDA funding in the 21st Century Cures Act -- most of you, based on the emails and calls I’ve been receiving -- a little more time to take action. The House is slated to vote on the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6) tomorrow. As part of the process they will first vote on amendments, including one offered by Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA-07) to eliminate the $8.75 billion in mandatory funding for NIH and $550 million for FDA. I can’t stress the importance of stopping this amendment strongly enough: opportunities like this to fund significantly more research do not present themselves often.This is $8.75 billion for...
Dear Research Advocate, This just in--the final version of the 21st Century Cures Act has been filed with the House Rules Committee in anticipation of a House vote next week. And to understate the news: it’s great!! The bill contains mandatory funding of $8.75 billion for the NIH Innovation Fund and $550 million for FDA. Compared to the version that passed the Energy and Commerce Committee, that’s $1.25 billion less for the Innovation Fund over five years. But considering what Reps. Upton (R-MI-06) and DeGette (D-CO-01) were up against in securing this supplemental funding stream, and thinking about what these dollars could mean for medical progress, the end result is a HUGE victory. Click...
Dear Research Advocate: There is a flurry of activity in Washington. Not only has the Supreme Court ruled on King v. Burwell , but the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have wrapped up consideration of their respective “Labor-H” appropriations bills, regular order we haven't seen for six years. The implications of the Supreme Court ruling are far-reaching, but one political effect could be a return to partisan gridlock in Congress. We can't let that get in the way of passage of 21st Century Cures Act. Please contact your representative in the House and ask them to champion 21st Century Cures. Whether or not they are among the 206 (!) bipartisan cosponsors to date, the more noise we...
Dear Research Advocate: Several patient groups, including Autism Speaks and the Lupus Foundation of America, were here in force this week, bringing hundreds of patients from around the nation to Capitol Hill to make their very personal, and powerful, cases for research. Their timing was perfect, as it coincided with the push for 21st Century Cures cosponsors, and subcommittee passage of the House “Labor-H” appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2016, which covers funding for NIH, CDC, and AHRQ. This funding bill is definitely a mixed bag. NIH would receive a $1.1 billion increase; $100 million above the President’s budget. CDC would also receive an increase of $140 million, equal to the...
Dear Research Advocate: After years of attending to other priorities and taking an “on cruise-control” approach to science, Congress has turned the corner with enthusiasm and determination! Clay Alspach and Tim Pataki from Energy and Commerce Chairman Upton’s staff joined Research!America members on Tuesday to discuss 21st Century Cures. They asked us to help assure a robust and bipartisan list of cosponsors for the bill. Please take a moment to ask your representative to sign-on, or thank him or her for cosponsoring. Please also consider joining one, two or all three of these sign-on letters: UMR , Ad Hoc , NHC . We have final figures for the joint online survey by The Science Advisory...
Scientific research is advancing the frontiers of knowledge with discoveries that will ultimately lead to the eradication of life-threatening conditions. Translating discoveries into safe and effective treatments for patients, however, requires robust investments, collaboration and the support of a modernized regulatory system. “When our laws don’t keep pace with innovation, we all lose,” said Representative Fred Upton (R-MI-06), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep. Upton and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO-01) are spearheading the 21 st Century Cures Act which aims to accelerate the pace of medical innovation from discovery, development to delivery. During the upcoming BIO...

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The capabilities are enormous, a little bit of research can pay off quite a bit in the long run.
Paul D’ Addario, retinitis pigmentosa patient