A House Appropriations subcommittee passed a fiscal 2017 spending bill for the Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education departments. The legislation would boost HHS spending for fiscal 2017 by $2.6 billion, including a $1.25 billion increase for the NIH. Because of cuts to other programs and policy riders, the Democrat members of the panel said they preferred the Senate version, which would bump NIH funding by $2 billion. The increase would build on a similar $2 billion hike the NIH received last year. The subcommittee proposed a $33.3 billion NIH budget, which is $2.25 million more than what President Barack Obama requested for the agency in discretionary funds.
The NIH has awarded $55 million this fiscal year to build the partnerships and infrastructure needed to launch the cohort program for the Precision Medicine Initiative, a longitudinal effort that aims to engage 1 million or more U.S. participants to improve research into preventing and treating disease based on individual differences in lifestyle, environment and genetics. The five-year awards will support a Data and Research Support Center, Participant Technologies Center (PTC) and network of health care provider organizations.
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, an initiative of the NIH, is providing a seven-year, $26.5 million grant to support a joint Trial Innovation Center (TIC) at the Duke Clinical Research Institute and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The TIC, a component of the Trial Innovation Network in the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program, will examine how multicenter trials of drugs and other therapies can be conducted more quickly and efficiently.