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House Research Legislation Advances

May 2015

Legislation that would authorize a new Innovation Fund for the NIH is advancing through the House of Representatives. The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the bill, entitled the 21st Century Cures Act, the week of May 18.  The legislation authorizes $10 billion over 5 years for the Innovation Fund for specific areas including a new Accelerating Advancement Program, research awards tied to a certain project or objectives, research awards for innovative scientists and early stage investigators, high-risk high reward research, research awards to small businesses, and the NIH intramural program. The legislation includes a number of other measures including:

  • A new mechanism to speed FDA approval of drugs for limited populations for which there is an unmet medical need, such as drug resistant TB.
  • Increased loan repayment awards for young investigators.
  • Creation of a new national pediatric research network consortium focused on rare pediatric disorders and birth defects.

The Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), has stated that the bill will be voted on by the full House of Representatives in June. A similar package is being drafted in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee by Sens. Burr (R-NC) and Alexander (R-TN), although it is not expected to be unveiled until mid-summer. Click here for more information.

Last Reviewed: October 2017