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NJ Spotlight: House’s Cures 2015 Bill Holds Promise for ‘Personalized Medicine’

Montclair, NJ, May 26, 2015 ― Andrew Kitchenman reports in NJ Spotlight that the U.S. House’s 21st Century Cures Act is attracting bipartisan support — including from New Jersey sponsors Reps. Frank Pallone (D-6)  and Leonard Lance (R-7) — and draws praise across New Jersey’s research community, as well as its biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

They see its goals of increasing medical research funding and speeding the approval of new drugs and medical devices as essential to promoting therapies that will serve patients and promote the state’s biotech and pharma companies.

Lance sponsored a section of the bill that would ease limits on the amount of money that the Food and Drug Administration can spend to test drugs.  That would increase the speed at which the FDA can approve drugs.

Finding additional federal funding for medical research has grown in urgency since 2013, when a provision of federal budget law known as “sequestration” went into effect, effectively limiting the amount of money many federal programs, including the National Institutes of Health, can spend

The NIH is the central source of federal funding for medical and biological research. The 21st Century Cures Act, which the House Energy & Commerce Committee passed unanimously, provides $10 billion to the NIH over the next five years and is a way around the sequestration limits.

HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ) President and Chief Executive Officer Dean Paranicas commended both Pallone and Lance, and said the bill is “vitally important to New Jersey’s life sciences community, but more importantly, to patients around the world.”

Paranicas singled out the FDA Safety Over Sequestration (SOS) (H.R. 1078) provisions sponsored by Congressman Lance.

As the director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Dr. Robert S. DiPaola has keenly followed the progress of a federal bill intended to spark new medical research.

One of the goals of the bill is to foster “personalized medicine,” in which treatments are tailored to meet the individual genetic profile of a patient — an area of research in which the Rutgers institute is already a leader.  After a U.S. House of Representatives committee released the bill yesterday, DiPaola summed up his response in one word.  “Fantastic.”

For Kitchenman’s complete NJ Spotlight story, click here.

You can follow Kitchenman on Twitter at @Kitchenman.