publication date: Jun. 30, 2017

House appropriations bill to allow NIH to move moonshot money to FDA

By Paul Goldberg and Matthew Bin Han Ong

Under the House version of the agriculture funding bill for fiscal 2018, NIH would be allowed to transfer Cancer Moonshot money to FDA.

This provision of the Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Agencies bill recognizes the unintended consequences of the 21st Century Cures bill, which authorized $75 million over five years to be spent on the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence as part of the federal moonshot program. However, NIH was designated to serve as a conduit for these new funds.

As a result, the 2017 moonshot funds—$15 million—remain trapped at NIH. Efforts to move these funds via contract so far proved to be unworkable, and no legislative fix is in sight for the current fiscal year.

Ellen Sigal, founder and chair of Friends of Cancer Research, an organization that lobbied for creation of the FDA oncology center, said the House version of the bill represents the first real effort to fix the problem.

“We are very pleased with this effort to transfer the funds to FDA, which was always the intent of the legislation,” Sigal said to The Cancer Letter. “I don’t want this to be viewed as new money. This is the money they should have gotten. And there is still $15 million that was supposed to be transferred in 2017, but wasn’t.”

The bill appropriates $60 million as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act, and includes language to allow FDA to receive transfers from NIH for support of the FDA cancer center, according to a statement from the subcommittee.

“The legislation also includes language … Continue reading House appropriations bill to allow NIH to move moonshot money to FDA

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