January 2014


FDA Fares Well in FY 2014 Appropriations

In the final days of 2013, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) reached an agreement on a proposed budget that would begin to restore funding to federal programs that had been hit hard by this year’s sequester. The agreement, The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, set current fiscal year discretionary spending at $1.012 trillion increasing to $1.014 trillion the following year, about halfway between the Senate’s proposed $1.058 trillion and the House’s $967 billion.

With spending caps in place, focus turned to appropriating individual agency and program funds for inclusion in an omnibus spending bill for a vote on the floor of each chamber prior to the January 15 deadline. On December 20, the Alliance for Stronger FDA, on behalf of 69 co-signers, sent a letter to the respective appropriating committee heads urging them to ensure that FY 14 funding levels reflect the rapidly growing, and indispensable, workload and responsibilities of the Food and Drug Administration. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was included in the omnibus spending package, and faired relatively well. Appropriators provided $2.552 billion in discretionary funding, $91 million more than FY 13, and an increase over FY 12 pre-sequester numbers. They also restored $79 million in FDA user fees lost during the sequester. The bill also included legislative language encouraging the Administration to reconsider inclusion of FDA user fees when calculating future sequestrations.

To read the legislation, click here.

To read the Alliance for a Stronger FDA support letter, click here.

NAPA Advisory Council to Hold First Meeting of 2014

The next meeting of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act’s Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services has been scheduled for Monday, February 3, 2014. In order to better inform the Council’s 2014 recommendations to the Administration, three of the Council’s subcommittees will present: Research, Clinical Care, and Long-Term Services and Supports. There will also be a discussion of the recent G8 Dementia Summit on dementia that was held in London on December 11, 2013.

The meeting will be held from 9:00am to 4:30pm EDT, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 800, Washington, D.C. 20201. The meeting is open to the public, though seating is limited, and requests to attend must be submitted by Friday, January 24.

For addition details, click here.

To view the live webcast, click here.

Academy of Radiology Research Sets Date for Postponed Conference on Brain Imaging Advances

On February 3, the Academy of Radiology Research will be hosting a collaborative one-day symposium, originally scheduled for October 21 but postponed by last year’s government shutdown, at which imaging researchers, neuroscientists, patient advocates and NIH program staff will explore the potential imaging connections between three pressing national research topics: autism, Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury. Carolyn Meltzer, MD of Emory University, Satoshi Minoshima, MD, PhD of Harvard Medical School, and Cynthia Bens of ACT-AD will present on imaging advances in Alzheimer’s disease.

The goal of this conference is to create an interdisciplinary forum that can bring together experts in biomedical imaging and neurological diseases, patient advocate, and industry partners to discuss ways and means to optimize current imaging investments in these fields.

The conference will be held National Institutes of Health’s Lister Hill Center Auditorium in Bethesda, MD. Attendance is free, and open to the public, but registration is required.

For more information on the speakers and agenda, and to register for the event, visit here.

ACT-AD Member Hosts 8th Drug Discovery for Neurodegeneration Conference

The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation’s 8th annual Drug Discovery for Neurodegeneration conference is taking place on February 2-4, 2014 in Miami, FL. Focusing on Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis, the conference is designed as a comprehensive course on the drug discovery process, from target validation through to clinical development, the annual conference seeks to provide participants with the knowledge and resources to translate their research into new drugs to treat and prevent neurodegenerative diseases.

The ADDF’s funded investigators and top level scientists in the field will present their current research progress and stimulate discussion. Guests will include over 150 key stakeholders from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, government, and academic communities. Attendees from academia and industry will also learn from specific case studies examples and have an opportunity to engage in interactive discussions on securing partnerships. A journal of the outcomes of the conference will be published following the event.

For more information on the conference and registration, click here.