Biden Administration and Congress Take a Major Step to Accelerate Research to Treat and Cure Serious Illnesses

Modeled after DARPA, ARPA-H will incentivize innovative approaches to address some of America’s deadliest diseases

Washington, D.C. (March 30, 2022) – A group of leading scientists and patient advocates today applauded the Biden Administration and Congress for making the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) a reality. This new agency is designed to empower high-risk, high-reward strategies aimed at rapidly accelerating research and development to treat and cure disease. The group issued the following statement expressing enthusiasm for ARPA-H and offering assistance to ensure its success:

“This is a tremendous accomplishment in the effort to prevent, diagnose, treat, and cure diseases that rob Americans and populations around the globe of hope, independence, and time. As former government officials and leaders across patient advocacy, academia, and industry, we offer our assistance to help ensure ARPA-H is positioned for success.

“The Administration has our full support as it now searches for the visionary leader with the skills necessary to build a strong culture of independence and bold action, a readiness to take risks, a powerful sense of urgency, and an ability to marshal and bridge the sectors and scientific disciplines to move discovery to applications for human health. We are ready to work with the administration to further define the mission, key authorities, and areas of focus for ARPA-H. We also stand ready to work with Congress on authorizing legislation on these points. We hope the Administration will work with us as partners in helping ARPA-H reach its full potential and, in doing so, assure that the mission and funding for ARPA-H complement and not supplant the ongoing work of the National Institutes of Health.

“The creation of ARPA-H is a significant milestone in our nation’s efforts to tackle the most pressing health challenges. As a group, we could not be more excited or committed to the Administration’s success in launching this new American enterprise in health innovation.”

The names of those who issued the statement are listed below. Asterisks (*) denote those making the statement in their individual capacity; their organization name is included for identification purposes only.

Christopher P. Austin, M.D. CEO, Vesalius Therapeutics, Former Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH

John R. Dwyer, President and Founding Board Member, Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation

Cartier Esham, Ph.D.*, Chief Scientific Officer, Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Annie Kennedy, Chief of Policy, Advocacy, and Patient Engagement, EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases

Sudip Parikh, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Richard F. Pops, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alkermes

Amy Comstock Rick, JD*, President and Chief Executive Officer, Food & Drug Law Institute

Ellen V. Sigal, Ph.D., Chairperson and Founder, Friends of Cancer Research

Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., President, Samaritan Health Initiatives, 12th Director, National Cancer Institute, 20th Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

George Vradenburg, Co-Founder and Chair, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s

Mary Woolley, President and Chief Executive Officer, Research!America

Keith R. Yamamoto, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy, UCSF, Director, UCSF Precision Medicine, Professor, Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology

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