- Rand Paul to Rick Perry on Iraq: Get some new glasses
- ‘Fact-Checker’ blog takes on Dems for their comments on Hobby Lobby decision
- Babe Ruth’s 1918 contract sells for $1.02M at auction
- Citigroup settles subprime mortgage case for $7B
- Archie to be shot saving gay friend in comic book
- Sen. John McCain on illegal child immigrants: Fly them home, now
- Pope Francis puts number of priestly pedophiles at 2 percent: report
- Oregonians flee in face of fast-moving wildfire as homes go up in blaze
- Eric Holder: ‘Racial animus’ fuels opposition to Obama and me
- Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to return to active duty at Fort Sam Houston
NIH plans center to spur creation of new drugs
Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation’s premier research agency plans to open a new center this fall to spur creation of medications because of concern that exciting discoveries aren’t being turned into treatments fast enough.
The plan is on track despite the increasingly likely prospect of budget cuts for the venerable National Institutes of Health, agency chief Dr. Francis Collins said Wednesday.
The idea: Do more of the risky early-stage research into promising compounds that drug companies are increasingly reluctant to invest in. It’s a period called “the valley of death” because so many of those early experiments fail.
“The valley of death needs to become a valley that leads to life,” Collins told reporters. “The time is right even in a difficult budget environment, maybe especially in a difficult budget environment.”
That kind of drug-related research isn’t new for the NIH. The cancer drug taxol and AIDS drug AZT, for example, originated from NIH work, Collins noted, and agency researchers have 550 projects under way devoted to various medications, vaccines or medical devices. He cited recent research that found 20 percent of innovative new medications that hit the market in recent years originated from NIH-funded research _ as the drug industry’s own research productivity has declined.
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences would bring much of NIH’s current drug development research _ about $700 million worth, from a $30 billion budget _ under one roof so scientists could better collaborate, Collins said. It also will explore new techniques to predict, for instance, which experimental medications will be safe enough to test in people faster than is done today.
The plan has drawn some objections by researchers and others concerned about the dismantling of another NIH center at the same time, projects that Collins said will be taken over by other parts of the agency.
But some high-profile patient advocacy groups are praising the change. Fewer than 200 of 7,000 rare diseases have an available therapy, said James O’Leary of the Genetic Alliance.
“That’s just too slow,” he said. “This translational medicine focus is critical to the mission of NIH.”
The Bethesda, Md.-based NIH plans to open the center Oct. 1.
TWT Video Picks
By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
- DOJ investigates Nebraska parade float critical of Obama
- Eric Holder: 'Racial animus' fuels opposition to Obama and me
- CURL: The hypocrisy of Obama's 15-day Vineyard vacation
- Violent gang MS-13 taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Agency scrubs Malia Obama photos at White House's request: report
- Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi formerly a U.S. captive
- A 'new Cold War': China's top paper warns of 'slippery slope' towards conflict with U.S.
- Obama's 'blank check' rejected as border solution
- Defense Dept.: Contracting personnel may be wasting billions due to FAR regulation confusion
- Inside the Beltway: White House grade slips to 'F'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs