'Moonshot' Pilot Aims To Fast Track Cancer Immunotherapy Patents
The Obama administration is offering biopharmaceutical companies and other inventors of cancer immunotherapies the opportunity to get their patent applications examined within 12 months under a special accelerated pilot program as part of the White House's $1bn National Cancer Moonshot initiative.
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Even though the White House's "moon shot" initiative is focused on cancer, a key component of the program – a new multimillion-dollar FDA "virtual" center for excellence intended to expedite the development and regulatory review of new combination therapies – may be the force to lift the agency out of its silos so that drugs, devices and diagnostics intended to be used together for other types of diseases are not forced to undergo time-consuming separate assessments, said Ellen Sigal, founder and chair of the advocacy group Friends of Cancer Research (FOCR).
The White House on Feb. 1 said President Barack Obama plans to spend $1bn to jumpstart his "moon shot" initiative to end cancer – a project being led by Vice President Joe Biden, who lost a son last year to a brain tumor.