The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which President Obama signed into law on March 23rd included a little-discussed, but important provision creating a Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will work to reduce the time it takes to move new drugs and therapies from the microscope to the marketplace.
This provision, introduced by Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) as an amendment to the original Senate bill in 2009, creates new funding mechanisms at the NIH through which contracts will be awarded to accelerate the development of “high need cures” – defined as drugs, biological products, or devices:
• That are a priority to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or treat harm from any disease or condition
• For which the incentives of the commercial market are unlikely to result in its adequate or timely development.
It will establish CAN within the Office of the Director of NIH and authorize grants expected to more quickly move discoveries from the lab through the development, testing and regulatory review process, into the hands of the patients that need them. This is an important step forward in bridging the ever-widening gap between basic and clinical research, known as the “valley of death” – where promising ideas for new treatments for deadly and debilitating diseases are often slowed and sometimes dropped before they can be fully explored.
FasterCures is committed to helping move basic science down the path towards treatments, and looks forward to supporting NIH in this effort. As we noted in our report “Entrepreneurs For Cures: The Critical Need for Innovative Approaches to Disease Research,” the true measure of success will be in lives saved and suffering diminished.
To learn more, participate in the forum:
Infusing Life into the Valley of Death
Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 8:30-10am
1101 New York Ave. NW Suite 620
Washington, DC 20005
Click here for additional information and to register.
Parkinson's Action Network and FasterCures invite you to participate in a forum about the Cure Acceleration Network, a provision in the health reform law, to learn how it can bridge the chasm between a basic scientific discovery and its application as a medical solution, known as the "Valley of Death." Speakers include John Myers, Office of Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA); Amy Rick, CEO, Parkinson’s Action Network; John Schall, Deputy CEO, Parkinson’s Action Network; and Margaret Anderson, Executive Director, FasterCures. RSVP by Monday, April 5 to Angelo Bouselli firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.336.8900.