May 2016

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Senate Committee Acts on Fiscal Year 2017 FDA Appropriations

On May 19, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The Senate bill would give FDA $2.760 billion in FY 2017 for salaries and expenses. This is $39 million more than FDA received in FY 2016, $29 million more than the president’s Budget Request, and $6 million over the House version of the bill. The Senate proposes increases of $2 million for precision medicine; $1 million to evaluate biomarkers for drug development; and $1 million for medical device post-market safety activities. While short of the $2.85 billion ACT-AD called for in March, we will advocate for the Senate number when the House and Senate versions of the appropriations bills advance this year. Read more about the Senate bill here.

Prospects Are Promising for Innovation Legislation

This month, Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), the leader of the House of Representatives’ landmark medical cures legislation, the 21st Century Cures Act, expressed hope that the bill is moving ahead in the Senate after nearly a year of work. Among other important provisions supported by ACT-AD, H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, and the Senate companion legislation include important provisions that would allow FDA to recruit and retain personnel who are integral to its mission. Help to show your support for the House and Senate innovation legislation on Twitter with #CuresNow and #Curesin4words.

Save the Date for ACT-AD’s Ninth Annual FDA/AD Allies Meeting/November 16

Mark your calendars! ACT-AD’s Ninth Annual FDA/AD Allies Meeting is set for Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center (5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, Maryland, 20852). Get more information here.

Could Tau Proteins Offer Early Warning of Memory Loss?

Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, recently wrote a blog post about a new study that looked into “how accumulation of tau and beta-amyloid, though linked to different pathological processes, are related clinically in tracking the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”  The study experts examined the MRIs and PET scans of 46 people (10 of whom were diagnosed with mild AD); the average age of the group was 75. The experts made some interesting discoveries into how tau could serve as an early predictor of memory loss. You can read more here.

Finding Could Provide New Insights about Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers say that a link between tau proteins and neurodegeneration may offer experts new insights into the disease. According to a study published in the journal Cell Reports, tau proteins “direct the formation of stress granules, which are molecular complexes that allow nerve cells to adapt to stresses, such as injury. The tau-stress granule complex is usually short lived, but in the setting of chronic stress, tau persistently forms into a cluster, leading to the degeneration of nerve cells seen in AD.” Read more here.