The U.S. federal government has proposed dedicating $6.5 billion to establish a medical research agency focused on curing cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and other diseases.
If created, the new Advanced Research Projects Authority for Health (ARPA-H) would become one of the largest agencies within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with a slightly larger budget than the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The proposal stems from years of advocacy by a group of philanthropists and scientists at The Suzanne Wright Foundation, as well as President Joe Biden’s own longtime cancer research interests. During former President Barack Obama’s presidency, then-Vice President Biden led the administration’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative; following his term as vice president, he founded a nonprofit with a goal of streamlining cancer research.
“Despite medical innovation over the last century, millions of Americans with deadly and debilitating conditions have seen no progress,” members of The Suzanne Wright Foundation said in a 2018 document. “Basic research alone, while essential, is not going to cure the thousands of diseases that impair or take millions of lives every year.”
Separately, the White House proposed a funding increase of more than $2 billion for the NIH.