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US Senate Passes 21st Century Cures Act

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The US Senate yesterday voted in favor the the 21st Century Cures Act by a vote of 94 to 5, setting the stage for President Barack Obama to sign the sweeping biomedical research funding bill into law.

Key provisions of the act include an additional $4.8 billion over 10 years for the National Institutes of Health to fund key programs, with $1.4 billion earmarked for President Barack Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative, $1.8 billion for Vice President Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot, and $1.6 billion for the BRAIN initiative. The bill would also provide $500 million to the US Food and Drug Administration, and streamline the way the agency approves drugs and medical devices.
 
"The Cures Act makes important investments that will save lives," President Obama said in a statement. "This bill will make a big difference, and I look forward to signing it as soon as it reaches my desk."
 
Since it was first passed by the House in mid-2015, the Cures Act has received strong bipartisan support, although concerns over how it would be funded resulted in a number of delays. With those issues largely worked out, last week the House voted 344 to 77 to once again approve the bill.
 
"21st Century Cures is ready for the president," House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said in a statement. "With this innovation game-changer, a new day for medical research is on the horizon. Today's vote is for patients and their loved ones."
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