In my previous blog, I discussed the announcement of Vice President’s, Joe Biden, cancer “moonshot.” After six months from the launch of the government’s moonshot, the United States has not yet doubled the rate of progress toward finding a cure as had hoped yet, there have been many efforts made with reference to the end goal.
Since the announcement of the cancer moonshot, Biden has visited several leading cancer centers in the U.S. He has also worked with experts around the world, including researchers, oncologists, patients and patient advocates, industry leadership, and data and technology experts, to identify any barriers and opportunities the moonshot may face. One issue Biden has faced so far is funding. While the administration has sought $1 billion from Congress over a two-year budget, only a fraction has been approved. As a result, Biden has decided to use the remainder of this time in office to “highlight private and nonprofit research efforts, while lobbying the country’s leading cancer institutions to collaborate more and better use their resources.”
The Cancer Moonshot Summit was held in late June 2016. Over 350 experts gathered at the Washington, D.C. summit and over 6,000 individuals congregated nationwide. During the gathering, Biden announced a set of new public and private sector actions to accelerate progress toward finding a cure for cancer. A few of the many actions Biden discussed to support the goals of the moonshot included:
- “Expediting Researchers’ Access to Cancer Compounds for Research– National Cancer Institute Drug Formulary”
- “Making Clinical Research Trials More Accessible to Cancer Patients”
- “Strategic Computing Partnership between the Department of Energy and the National Cancer Institute to Accelerate Precision Oncology”
- “Creation of an Open Access Resource for Sharing Cancer Data via the Genomic Data Commons”
- “Forging New Partnerships to Catalyze New Drug Discovery and Development”
Vice President Biden issued a call to action for individuals and organizations to join his efforts at the Cancer Moonshot Summit. The White House Press stated that we are seeking to enhance the “rate of progress in our understanding, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care of cancer.” Positioning the efforts to cure cancer in the eyes of the public gave way to many new collaborations with cutting-edge innovations. One new relationship in particular includes GlaxoSmithKline, along with the Department of Energy and the National Cancer Institute. The purpose of this public-private partnership is to speed up the process of drug development. The White House Press explained the new relationship as a “partnership designed to harness high-performance computing and diverse biological data to accelerate the drug discovery process and bring new cancer therapies from target to first in human trials in under one year.”
A full list of the actions, as well as the detailed private, philanthropic, and academic sector collaborations, can be found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/06/28/fact-sheet-cancer-moonshot-summit-vice-president-biden-announces-new
The moonshot to end cancer has only just begun. The Cancer Moonshot Summit was one of the first major steps in accelerating cancer research. There is no question that we will come across many challenges during our global fight against cancer, however, the key to winning lies in the dedication and collaborative efforts of committed organizations.
Blue Mountain is proud to support the efforts and dedication of all companies who contribute to the fight against cancer. In working with more than 30 customers directly involved in preventing and treating cancer, we see first hand the dedication the professionals working at these companies have. We strive to provide our Blue Mountain customers with the tools needed to change lives worldwide and are committed to helping these organizations bring safe and effective products to market in order to better the quality of life for patients around the world.
For an additional read on efforts in the fight to cure cancer, check out A Race For CAR-T Cell Manufacturing.