The new federal research agency will not be based alongside its NIH parent in Bethesda, Maryland.
After winning authorization to create the agency, Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and several colleagues in Massachusetts are asking the Biden administration to locate the agency there.
The ARPA-H headquarters would also likely serve as a magnet for the broader life sciences industry.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, Markey argues that Massachusetts is a premier biomedical research hub, given its talented workforce and network of elite universities, hospitals and research institutions.
“As ARPA-H seeks to accelerate medical breakthroughs and invest in high-risk, high-reward projects aimed at preventing and curing infectious and rare diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and other serious conditions, the federal government and the American people would be the beneficiaries of the rich innovation ecosystem in Massachusetts,” the letter stated.
In total, eleven members of Congress signed the letter. In addition to Markey, they include:
- Elizabeth Warren
- Richard E. Neal
- James P. McGovern
- Stephen F. Lynch
- William R. Keating
- Katherine Clark
- Seth Moulton
- Lori Trahan
- Ayanna Pressley
- Jake Auchincloss
Business and university leaders based in Massachusetts are also joining the effort.
Leaders in other states, including Texas, California and North Carolina, are competing against Massachusetts in an attempt to attract the ARPA-H agency.
The Biden Administration had requested $5 billion to create the ARPA-H agency, which was first proposed in President Biden’s 2022 budget.
The ARPA–H agency will be based on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which was founded in 1958.
A fact sheet for ARPA-H explains that the agency will not focus on specific diseases but would “aim to build and develop capabilities and platforms that are broadly applicable to a wide range of diseases and conditions (including but not limited to cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes).”
Filed Under: clinical trials, Drug Discovery and Development