Past Briefings

July 22, 2014: How the Research-by-Consortia Model Will Lead to Faster Cures

FasterCuresDC 118Leaders 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 of the National Human Genome Research Institute at National Institutes of Health
  • Richard Insel, manages the scientific priorities and portfolio of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Angela DeMichele, University of Pennsylvania and co-director of ISPY-2
  • ShaAvhrée Buckman-Garner, leads partnership efforts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Marc Bonnefoi, head of Sanofi’s North America R&D Hub
  • Moderator Margaret Anderson, Executive Director, FasterCures

June 25, 2013: Who's in Charge of Translating Science into Cures?

Collins62513FasterCures 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.


  • Opening Remarks: The Honorable Eric Cantor, Majority Leader
  • Chris Austin, M.D., Director, NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
  • Francis Collins, M.D., Director, National Institutes of Health
  • Sharon Terry, President and CEO, Genetic Alliance, and Vice Chair of the Institute of Medicine's Committee to Review the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program
  • Moderator Margaret Anderson, Executive Director, FasterCures

Feb. 25, 2013: The 113th Congress and Medical Research: A Perfect Storm Approaching?

slide from Feb. 20, 2013 TRAIN Webinar

A dynamic panel of experts painted a vivid picture of the tsunami of budget and fiscal issues that threaten federal science programs during a FasterCures Webinar on “The 113th Congress and Medical Research: A Perfect Storm Approaching?”. While the prospects for avoiding widespread cuts seem bleak, the speakers remained optimistic that a loud, unified, focused argument from the medical research community could have an impact right now. View the archived Webinar.


  • Margaret Anderson, FasterCures
  • Ceci Connolly, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute
  • Sudip Parikh, Battelle Health & Analytics
  • Carrie Wolinetz, Association of American Universities

Feb. 6, 2013 -  The Blueprint of Medical Research: How New Medicines Get from the Lab to the Patient

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"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.


  • Margaret Anderson, FasterCures
  • Deborah W. Brooks, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
  • N. Anthony Coles, Onyx Pharmaceuticals
  • Francis Collins, National Institutes of Health
  • Margaret Hamburg, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Roy A. Jensen, University of Kansas Cancer Center
  • Michael Milken, The Milken Institute and FasterCures
  • Ellen V. Sigal, Friends of Cancer Research

July 25, 2012 - Renewing America's Commitment to Bioscience

photos from FasterCures' July 25, 2012 Hill briefing

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.


  • Margaret Anderson, FasterCures
  • Francis Collins, National Institutes of Health
  • Ross DeVol, The Milken Institute
  • Michael Milken, The Milken Institute and FasterCures
  • William Nelson, Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Harold Varmus, National Cancer Institute
  • Stephen Spielberg, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

April 18, 2012 - Engaging with FDA: A Guide for Foundation Funders of Research

slide from April 19, 2012 TRAIN Webinar

Mary Dwight of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Cynthia Rice of JDRF shared their views about why it's important for groups like theirs to engage with regulators, as well as how to get started and how to be effective, durent a recent FasterCures Webinar, "Engaging with FDA: A Guide for Foundation Funders of Research." Both panelists discussed how valuable medical research foundations can be to the FDA. They shared some case examples of their own experiences working with FDA on issues such as patient-reported outcomes measures, defining endpoints, and creating a regulatory pathway for a novel medical device. View the archived Webinar.


  • Mary Dwight, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • Cynthia Rice of JDRF

May 20, 2010 - Briefing with NIH Director Francis S. Collins: Leveraging Federal Investment to Speed the Development of Promising Therapies for Patients

photo from July 25, 2012 FasterCures Hill briefingThe 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.


  • Senators Richard J. Durbin and Richard C. Shelby
  • Margaret Anderson, FasterCures
  • Robert J. Beall, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • Francis Collins, National Institutes of Health

March 24, 2010 - Science and Progress at the FDA: Realizing the Return on Investment from Biomedical Research

photo from FasterCures Hill Briefing

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.


  • Margaret Anderson, FasterCures
  • Jesse L. Goodman, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • John L. Marshall, Georgetown University Hospital
  • Ellen V. Sigal, Friends of Cancer Research
  • Max Wallace, Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure