Lend Your Support-GMKF2

BuildingOnSuccess_edited-3Your 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 passed by Congress in 2014 and President Obama signed it into law the very same year. The act was intended to be a 10-year program. With $75 million of non-taxpayer funding provided by the act over the past six years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund established the very successful Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program (Kids First).  Another $50 million is expected to be appropriated over the remaining four years of the Act.

KidsFirstResearch program_edited-1The 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 NotSamerefined 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 H.R. 6556 – 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.

The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act 2.0 (H.R. 6556) would redirect penalties levied againstUntitled-2 pharmaceutical manufacturers by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA). The funds from the penalties 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 against pharmaceutical companies since 2013 – hundreds of millions of dollars from six violations alone. With this legislation, penalties from pharmaceutical companies that break the law would be channeled directly to critical medical research.

Representatives Tom Cole (R-OK-04), Peter Welch (D-VT-At Large), and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12) joined Representative Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10) who introduced this legislation.  In addition, Representatives Shelia Jackson Lee TX-18, Tom O’Halleran AZ-1, David B. McKinley WV-1, Cathy McMorris Rodgers WA5, Michael San Nicolas GU-0, Steve Cohen TN-9, Markwayne Mullin OK-2, Bill Flores TX-17 Glenn Grothman WI-6, Abigail Spanberger VA-7, Susan Brooks IN-5, Dwight Evans PA-3, Ayanna Pressley MA-7, Josh Harder CA-7, Scott Peters CA-52, Pete Olson TX-22, and Rob Whittman VA-1 have recently cosponsored. As of this writing, we already have over 200 foundations and organizations and more than 1,000 advocates covering all 50 states, who have signed a letter of support for this new bill.

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 confirm your support for passage of H.R. 6556 – Kids First Research Act 2.0 by signing up here.

Ellyn Miller, always Gabriella’s mom