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To the Moon With $1 Billion

The White House is seeking $1 billion over the next two years to fund its cancer moonshot initiative, as GenomeWeb reports. This, it adds, includes $755 million in funding for the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration for Fiscal Year 2017.

Congress has already approved $195 million in research funding for 2016, notes Scott Horsley at NPR. He adds that the further $755 million, if approved, represents "an increase of about 15 percent over what the federal government is already spending to fight cancer."

According to a White House press release, these funds would support research into cancer prevention and vaccine development for cancers caused by viruses, early detection assays, immunotherapies and combination therapies, genomic analyses of tumors and surrounding cells, better data sharing, and more.

The taskforce behind the cancer moonshot initiative was formally established last week with Vice President Joe Biden at its helm, and the group held its first meeting yesterday.

"Every single federal agency with a part to play in this mission — from the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration to the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Energy and its national energy labs — will be in the same room together to make sure we're working from the same playbook," Biden said in a statement before the meeting.

"We'll make sure we're making the most of investments, of our research and data, our supercomputing capabilities, our targeted incentives, private-sector efforts, and patient-engagement initiatives," he added.