Washington, D.C.—Today the Biden administration released preliminary details on its FY 2022 discretionary budget, including $6.5 billion to create a new department within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) dedicated to accelerating the pace of biomedical research for rare and difficult to treat diseases. The Advanced Research Project Agency on Health (ARPA-H) would initially focus on cancer and would work to bring public, private and academic resources together to find innovative new treatments.
The ARPA-H funding is part of as much as a $9 billion increase for the NIH. The budget also includes $150 million increase for the Centers for Disease Control’s Social Determinants of Health Program.
A statement on the proposed budget from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:
“ACS CAN is excited by the prospect of additional resources and potential new methods by which to accelerate cancer research—especially for rare cancers and those that remain very difficult to treat.
“ARPA-H holds the potential to quickly bridge the gap between the lab and the patient with targeted innovative therapies while simultaneously benefiting from and bolstering the bedrock research being done at NIH and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
“NIH funding should ensure the advancement of essential biomedical research and we would urge a robust investment in the NCI, which has struggled to meet demand for grant funding and for programs that support scientists and researchers from traditionally underrepresented minorities. NCI research has helped save the lives of 17 million American cancer survivors and could save many more with increased funding.
“Additionally, we welcome the $150 million funding increase for the CDC’s Social Determinants of Health program, which will help collect vital data on racial and ethnic communities who often suffer disproportionate incidence of cancer. These same communities, among others, also rely on a number of the CDC’s cancer prevention and early detection programs and we would urge the administration to adequately fund these programs, including the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, as part of the Center’s $8.7 billion budget.
“ACS CAN welcomes the president and administration’s steadfast commitment to improving cancer research and saving lives from this disease. We look forward to learning more details about the budget, including ARPA-H, and working with the administration to help achieve its ambitious cancer and public health goals.”