Leaders from across sectors in medical research and development delivered a strong message to Capitol Hill: to accelerate medical progress, we need to encourage and incentivize public-private partnerships that advance shared goals. Consider that in 1997, there were 6 consortia in medical research and development; today there are 393 active cross-sectors efforts focused on advancing shared research goals. This emerging model was the focus of a FasterCures briefing held July 22, which attracted more than 130 stakeholders, including dozens of legislative staff. A robust panel discussion ensued about the unique value proposition of these partnerships, the complex scientific challenges it can address, and the power of engaging various sectors, including industry, academia, patients, and government. Read the full summary and view the video.
- Eric Green, Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health
- Richard Insel, Chief Scientific Officer, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
- Angela DeMichele, Co-Leader, Breast Cancer Research Program at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
- ShaAvhrée Buckman-Garner, Director, Office of Translational Sciences, CDER, Food and Drug Administration
- Marc Bonnefoi, Head of the North America R&D Hub and Vice President of Disposition, Safety and Animal Research Scientific Core Platform, Sanofi
- Moderator Margaret Anderson, Executive Director, FasterCures
June 25, 2013: Who's in Charge of Translating Science into Cures?
FasterCures hosted over 100 congressional staffers, patient advocates, academics and drug developers at a Capitol Hill briefing about the importance of federal support for translational research, the phase of medical R&D between the birth of a basic scientific discovery made in the lab and when a pharmaceutical company tests out a potential new therapy with patients -- or, more plainly put, "the stuff in between" microscope and marketplace.The outlook for science has never been brighter -- we know more today than ever before about the molecular basis for thousands of diseases that impact millions of patients -- but the outlook for funding has also never been bleaker. With the National Institutes of Health losing a billion and a half dollars to the sequester, traditional investors retreating from early-stage life sciences, industry pipelines shrinking, and philanthropy unable to fill the gap, we are poised to leave a huge scientific opportunity on the table, namely our ability to get important new medicines out of the lab and to patients more quickly. And with millions of lives hanging in the balance, it's just not something Americans can afford to do. Read the full summary and view the video.
"While I can tell you there's never been a more exciting time for science, I can also tell you there's never been a more stressful time," said Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), addressing the issue at hand - tightening fiscal resources that threaten the research and development ecosystem to fully deliver science's full potential to improve health and well-being. This was the main topic of a Capitol Hill briefing co-hosted by FasterCures and Friends of Cancer Research. Collins and other medical research leaders representing distinct sectors provided a glimpse into what it takes to turn a scientific discovery into a safe and effective therapy that will improve, and maybe even save, patients' lives. More than 300 policy decision makers, advocates, and key legislative staffers participated. Read the full summary and view the video.
July 25, 2012 - Renewing America's Commitment to Bioscience
This briefing focused on the economic and social benefits of scientific research. The event also previewed the Celebration of Science, an intensive three days focused on jumpstarting a new era of scientific exploration and discovery with leaders who sit at the intersection of science and government.
May 20, 2010 - Briefing with NIH Director Francis S. Collins: Leveraging Federal Investment to Speed the Development of Promising Therapies for Patients
The past few decades have brought exciting scientific breakthroughs necessary to understand, diagnose, and treat many diseases. However, the ability to translate these discoveries into treatments patients can use severely lags behind the pace of innovation. On average, it takes 15 years to turn a scientific discovery into a viable therapy. For the millions of Americans who live with chronic and fatal diseases, this is simply too long to wait. FasterCures and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation held a briefing that spotlighted the nation’s investment in medical research at the National Institutes of Health and examined how these dollars can be leveraged to create new therapies for patients and save lives.
March 24, 2010 - Science and Progress at the FDA: Realizing the Return on Investment from Biomedical Research
The Food and Drug Administration serves as the nexus between the progression of laboratory research and the clinical use of new therapies. This briefing focused on the need for improved scientific capacity at the FDA, including the fact that laboratory science, which leads to the discovery of potential treatments, has vastly out-distanced regulatory science, which develops methods to evaluate their safety and approval; deficiencies in capital – human, scientific, and financial – are creating a widening gap between the microscope and the marketplace, and hindering the FDA’s ability to achieve its mission; and a consistent multi-year funding approach is essential.