Pallone Announces Biomedical Research Funding Critical to New Jersey with House Passage of 21st Century Cures

Jul 10, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, with the House of Representatives’ passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced biomedical research funding in the legislation to support progress toward treatments for rare diseases.  He has played an integral role in leading the bill through the House as both a sponsor of the legislation and as the Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.  The legislation provides a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding boost to New Jersey and the state stands to benefit as a leader in drug manufacturing and biomedical research.  The bill passed the House by a 344 to 77 vote.

“21st Century Cures is a good bill for patients around the country and stands to be a very good bill for the State of New Jersey.  I am glad that our hard bipartisan work has paid off in the bill’s passage,” said Congressman Pallone.  “The legislation will invest in lifesaving medical research and support our state’s research institutions and pharmaceutical companies as they continue to revolutionize the way we manufacture prescription drugs.  I look forward to working with the Senate to see the bill signed into law.” 

The legislation, which originated in Pallone’s committee, would facilitate the advancement of cutting edge science and foster the more efficient discovery, development and delivery of new treatments.  Specifically, among other provisions, it would establish the NIH Innovation Fund, which would allocate $1.75 billion each year to the agency through fiscal year 2020.  The funding increase would directly impact New Jersey, which, as of 2014, had more than 50 NIH-funded organizations.  NIH-supported biomedical research has led directly to breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of disease and has served as the basis for private industry research and development at pharmaceutical labs and device manufacturers throughout New Jersey.

“The NIH funding in the bill will not only provide a critical boost to the agency’s eroding budget, it is also vital for New Jersey to stay on the cutting edge of life-saving research and high-level job creation,” continued Pallone.

NIH grants represent the largest source of federal support for research conducted at Rutgers and especially at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) in New Brunswick.  NIH also provides significant support to the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Piscataway, and the JFK Medical Center in Edison.

Also of importance to New Jersey, the legislation would allow the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to award $5 million in grants to research institutions – such as Rutgers – to study the process of continuous drug manufacturing.  Continuous manufacturing, which would replace the outdated “batch manufacturing” process, will benefit patients and pharmaceutical companies by increasing quality and efficiency, leading to higher quality and lower cost prescription drugs.  Already a leader in this field, Rutgers is partnering with Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the Engineering Research Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (C-SOPS) to advance the innovative process in its two-story, state-of-the-art continuous manufacturing lab in Piscataway.