The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has approved the last of its biomedical innovation bills that form its counterpart to the House 21st Century Cures Act.  Together with the bills cleared by the HELP committee in February and March 2016, the panel has now passed 19 bipartisan medical innovation bills.  The five newly-approved bills are as follows:

  • S. 2700, FDA and NIH Workforce Authorities Modernization Act — to enable the FDA and National Institutes of Health (NIH) attract and retain scientists.
  • S. 185, Promise for Antibiotics and Therapeutics for Health Act — to permit FDA to approve an antibacterial drug for a limited patient population upon determining that the drug treats a serious or life-threatening condition and addresses an unmet need.
  • S. 2713, Advancing Precision Medicine Act of 2016 – to authorize the HHS Secretary to foster interagency collaboration and implement data sharing and other actions to support the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative, which seeks to develop treatments, diagnostics, and prevention strategies tailored to the individual genetic characteristics of each patient.
  • S. 2745, Advancing NIH Strategic Planning and Representation in Medical Research Act – to require NIH to develop a strategic plan to direct NIH biomedical research investments and to ensure that NIH activities take into account women and minorities and focus on reducing health disparities.
  • S. 2742, Promoting Biomedical Research and Public Health for Patients Act — to streamline administrative requirements for NIH researchers and recipients of NIH grants.

The package moves to the full Senate next.