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White House Seeks $1B to Fund Cancer 'Moonshot' Initiative

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – President Barack Obama is seeking $1 billion in funding over the next two years to fund his recently announced "moonshot" to eliminate cancer, including $755 million in mandatory Fiscal Year 2017 funding to the National Institutes of Health and the US Food and Drug Administration, the White House said in a statement today.

The funding will, among other things, support the development and evaluation of minimally invasive cancer screening assays; programs to better understand the genetic mechanisms that drive cancer; and the establishment of an FDA Oncology Center of Excellence to advance the development of companion diagnostics and precision therapies for cancer.

President Obama last week established a taskforce, led by Vice President Joe Biden and including members of various government organizations, to advance an effort to eliminate cancer that was unveiled during the State of the Union address in January.

To support that effort, which is beginning this year with $195 million in cancer funding already allocated to the NIH for Fiscal Year 2016, the President will ask for $755 million for new cancer research activities at the NIH and FDA in his upcoming Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposal, according to the White House.

"These investments represent an initial down-payment on the National Cancer Moonshot," the White House said in the statement. "Over the coming months, the administration looks forward to working with Congress to launch the next phase of investments, providing the resources needed to double our rate of progress in this historic fight."

The President's budget proposal is expected to be released on Feb. 9.