Spanberger Introduces Legislation to Support Biomedical Innovation, Strengthen Federal Investment in Cancer & Rare Disease Research

Oct 15, 2019
Healthcare
Press

The Biomedical Innovation Expansion Act Would Extend & Expand Research Funding for the NIH’s Cancer, Antibiotic Resistance, & Rare Disease Research

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger introduced legislation to strengthen federal investment in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and support its ongoing initiatives to combat cancer, prevent antibiotic resistance, and discover cures for rare diseases.

The Biomedical Innovation Expansion Act would provide $10 billion in federal support for the NIH’s research programs over the next 10 years. Spanberger introduced the legislation alongside U.S. Representatives Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11) and Mike Levin (D-CA-49).

“Our country’s medical researchers have been recognized around the world for their cutting-edge discoveries, and this proud legacy of innovation has solidified our reputation as a global leader in the fight against rare diseases and chronic illnesses,” said Spanberger. “The dedicated staff at the NIH deserve strong support for their world-class research, and this bill reaffirms the idea that the medical challenges of tomorrow can be addressed through the lifesaving research of today. This funding would help the next generation of scientists understand new ways to prevent antibiotic resistance, treat rare diseases, and eventually develop a cure for cancer. I’m proud to help introduce this legislation alongside Congresswoman Sherrill and Congressman Levin—and I’ll keep looking to support ways to develop new treatments, encourage innovation, and allow Central Virginia patients to live longer and healthier lives.”

“For generations, New Jersey has been a world leader in biomedical research innovation,” said Sherrill. “I’ve seen the exciting and breakthrough research happening right here in North Jersey that will help us save lives, improve health, and offer hope to people affected by rare diseases. This bill continues the momentum of support for biomedical research funding to ensure America remains a leader in research innovation and that we support jobs in New Jersey.”

“The National Institutes of Health support critically important research that improves the quality of life for people across the country, and we must make robust investments in that work,” said Levin. “The Southern California communities I represent are home to world renowned research institutions, and the Biomedical Innovation Act will help ensure that they have the funding they desperately need.”

Spanberger’s legislation would also provide steady, predictable resources through the NIH Innovation Fund, which was created through the bipartisan “21st Century Cures Act” in 2016. The bill would maintain support for all current NIH Innovation Fund activities through 2030.

Specifically, the bill invests $10 billion over ten years in the NIH as a catalyst for medical cures and scientific breakthroughs. This funding would include:

  • Roughly $3 billion for the Precision Medicine Initiative, which includes the ambitious All of Us Research Program aimed at building a diverse database to inform thousands of studies on a variety of health conditions as an important way to accelerate health research;
  • Over $2.9 billion for the Brain Research Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative and its goals set out in BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision, including the broad goal of gaining insight into how the nervous system functions in health and disease; 
  • More than $1.6 billion towards combating antimicrobial and antibiotic resistance, which the World Health Organization warns is one of the top ten threats to global health;
  • $758 million to support research on the several thousands of rare diseases without a treatment; and
  • $220 million toward the Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project carried out in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration to advance the development of safe and effective regenerative medicine innovations using adult stem cells.

BACKGROUND

In the U.S. House, Spanberger has worked to address life-threatening diseases and to support national efforts to combat cancer. In June 2019, the U.S. House passed her amendment to strengthen federal support for colorectal cancer screening and prevention as part of a bipartisan funding package. Click here to watch Spanberger’s full floor speech about her amendment.

The June 2019 funding legislation also included a Spanberger-backed provision to increase NIH funding by $2 billion and to secure an additional $2.4 billion for Alzheimer’s Disease research.

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