Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Healthcare Reform to Bolster Research

The passage of the healthcare reform bill this week signifies more than affordable insurance for many Americans. Tucked within the bill's 2,400 pages are "lesser-known provisions that will significantly affect biomedical researchers, teaching hospitals and the biotechnology industry," Nature News reports. The bill calls for the initiation of a new competitive grant program at the National Institutes of Health, the Cures Acceleration Network, which will garner up to $500 million annually to ramp-up the translation of basic research into treatments. Individual awards are expected to be up to $15 million per year. Nature reports that the CAN will be distinct from the Clinical and Translational Science Awards, a program already in place at the NIH.

Science Insider reports that the bill also contains language outlining the creation of a "new, independent, non-profit institute for comparative effectiveness research — evidence-based studies that compare the value of medical treatments, such as two different drugs or a specific drug versus surgery."

According to Nature, companies that produce biologics also benefit from the bill. New regulation would guarantee 12 years of market exclusivity for makers of brand-name biologics before biosimilars can be produced.

The Scan

Expanded Genetic Testing Uncovers Hereditary Cancer Risk in Significant Subset of Cancer Patients

In Genome Medicine, researchers found pathogenic or likely pathogenic hereditary cancer risk variants in close to 17 percent of the 17,523 patients profiled with expanded germline genetic testing.

Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy Embryos Appear Largely Normal in Single-Cell 'Omics Analyses

Embryos produced with spindle transfer-based mitochondrial replacement had delayed demethylation, but typical aneuploidy and transcriptome features in a PLOS Biology study.

Cancer Patients Report Quality of Life Benefits for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy was linked in JAMA Network Open to enhanced quality of life compared to other treatment types in cancer patients.

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.