Update: It’s official … see my comment below for details on the SMRB’s recommendation that Collins establish a new Center at the NIH dedicated to translational medicine and therapeutics.
First, another Continuing Resolution continues FY10 funding levels until Dec 18th. According to the AAMC, seems most likely these CRs will be the high-point of FY11:
During debate on the measure, Rep. Jerry Lewis (Calif.), the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, again expressed opposition to “any potential omnibus spending bill the Democratic leadership may be planning to bring to the House floor before the end of the year.” He also opposed extending the CR for the balance of FY 2011 at current level, which he described as “frankly, too darn high.”
Second, see the opening line of the post below. On Dec 7, the Scientific Management Review Board, which has issued a report recommending the merger of NIAAA and NIDA (under consideration by Collins, with a decision likely by summer 2011), will discuss the possible creation of a new center on translational medicine and therapeutics.
In November, Arthur Rubinstein, in a presentation on workings of the Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (TMAT) Working Group, proposed that:
a new TMAT program be established at NIH in the form of a new IC to:
- Establish new and innovative approaches to conducting research to advance the science of process engineering of the therapeutics development pipeline, in the context of strengthening and streamlining the process itself; and
- Serve as a catalyst, resource, and convener for collaborative interactions, capitalizing on the relative strengths of the extra-and intramural communities, private sector, government, and academia, to promote quick-win, fast-fail paradigms and further develop the pre-competitive space.
Let’s see … “process engineering of the therapeutics development pipeline” … “quick-win, fast-fail paradigms” … “pre-competitive space.”
What happened to the mission “to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems”?
Why not just say, we need a place (other than NCRR apparently) to house CAN (Cures Acceleration Network), the CTSAs, NIH-FDA projects (regulatory science), perhaps comparative effectiveness research, and some other big Roadmap initiatives in partnership with the NIH Clinical Center (to enhance its own use & sustainability)? Of course, the next question is what happens to funding levels at the 25 ICs that currently support translational research and therapeutics development (see first news bulletin above).