Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK04), joined Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA10) who introduced this bipartisan legislation (HR 623) in the US House and Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) also introduced a companion bipartisan bill (S 1521) in the US Senate. Both bills take the penalties collected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food supplement, and medical device companies that violate the existing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and redirects them to critical rare pediatric disease research.
Cosponsors include more than 50 Representatives and 7 Senators . As of this writing, there are over 300 foundations and organizations including the Alliance for Childhood Cancer and more than 1,400 advocates covering all 50 states, who have signed a letter of support to the House and Senate for this new bill. Please consider signing to show your support.
Your support is needed to continue to build upon established, proven methods of research, data collection and data sharing that will lead to more refined diagnostic capabilities and ultimately more targeted therapies. The original Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Act was signed into law in 2014. The act was intended to be a 10-year program. With $88 million of non-taxpayer funding provided by the act over the past seven years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund established the very successful Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program (Kids First). Another $38 million is expected to be appropriated over the remaining three years of the Act.
The Kids First Program fosters collaborative research to uncover the genetic etiology of childhood cancer and structural birth defects. In pursuit of this goal, NIH developed the Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Data Resource Center (Kids First Data Resource Center), and is in the process of expanding a public-facing, web-based portal that allows researchers to search, access, aggregate, analyze, and share annotated genomic sequence, variant, and phenotypic datasets. This resource is of high value for the pediatric research community and will facilitate analyses across diverse conditions to uncover shared developmental pathways. Under this program, more than two-dozen pediatric research focused laboratories have generated vital genomic data that will be shared with the entire research community. The overall goal is to help researchers understand the underlying mechanisms of these conditions leading to more refined diagnostic capabilities and ultimately more targeted therapies or interventions. This First Act is just the beginning, we must continue and enhance this vital work, because while cancer is the single leading cause of death by disease among American children, currently only 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s $4.9 billion budget goes towards development of cures and treatments for childhood cancer. Because of limited research in the past 30 years, only 4 drugs have been developed exclusiverly to treat childhood cancer.
With The Gabriella Kids First Research Act 2.0, again with non-taxpayer funding, we will be able to expand this program to develop a truly comprehensive shared-data resource for scientists researching the majority of pediatric cancers and structural birth defects, and support development of computational tools to analyze these very large, complex genomic, and clinical data sets.
Simple as 1,2, 3, More funding for Pediatric Cancer and Rare Disease Research
Here’s how the Gabriella Miller Kids First Act 2.0 will create more research for childhood cancer and rare pediatric diseases: Under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, related companies that violate its existing laws must pay fines. Under the new Kids First 2.0 Act, the fines are collected and transferred to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funds the GMKF Pediatric Research Initiative Fund. The new Kids First Act 2.0 is expected to generate much more funding. The new legislation would redirect penalties levied against companies regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA). The funds would be transferred to the Kids First Pediatric Research Program (Kids First) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There have been consistent and large civil sanctions leveraged since 2013 – hundreds of millions of dollars from six violations against pharmaceutical companies alone!
Lend Your Support Now!
Your support is essential now to build upon the successful work that has already been done and to expand and enhance our research and data collection capabilities in the future. Please read the Letter of Support and help show our legislators the importance of this funding source by signing up here.
Ellyn Miller, always Gabriella’s Mom