ARPA-H Projects Take on Cancer, Organ Transplants, Superbugs, and Improving Immunity

This week, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced a series of research projects totaling over $330 million dollars that will support biomedical health breakthroughs aimed at improving health solutions and health care for the American public.

ARPA-H makes pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies and broadly applicable platforms, capabilities, resources, and solutions with the potential to transform important areas of medicine and health that cannot readily be accomplished through traditional research or commercial activity. Last year, as part of his Unity Agenda, President Biden worked with Democrats and Republicans in Congress to establish and fund ARPA-H to drive breakthroughs to prevent, detect, and treat cancer and other diseases. ARPA-H is now moving aggressively to advance the goals of the Biden Cancer Moonshot and the President’s Unity Agenda, among other initiatives.

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Friday, September 29:

Biden-Harris Administration Announces up to $50 Million to Advance Health Data Security in America

The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today announced up to $50 million in funding for six contract awards through the Digital Health Security (DIGIHEALS) project, a digital security project to protect the U.S. health care system's electronic infrastructure. The projects undertaken through these contract awards will seek to advance technologies that address vulnerabilities in securing health care data, such as automated medical device patching, ransomware intervention, cognitive health assistants for better data organization, cyber reasoning techniques, and electronic health record consolidation.

Thursday, September 28:

Biden-Harris Administration announces major step to address organ transplant shortages through on-demand 3D tissue printing through ARPA-H award

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), today announced up to $26 million for a newly funded project, part of its Open Broad Agency Announcement (Open BAA), that aims to lay the groundwork for the development of 3D printed, fully-functional human organs. There are currently more than 100,000 people in the United States who are waiting for organs, such as hearts or kidneys, and tragically, more than 6,000 of these patients die each year due to lack of access to compatible organs. That number is in addition to the millions of Americans who need tissue – including corneas, skin, and cartilage – for grafts and transplants that could save or improve their lives

Biden-Harris Administration announces funding for regenerative tissue project to restore immune system function and improve health outcomes through ARPA-H award

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), today announced up to $37 million in project funding through its Open Broad Agency Announcement (Open BAA) to restore function to the thymus, an organ responsible for supporting normal immune cell development, and potentially restore immune system function as people age. More than 10,000 new patients are diagnosed each year with a thymus disorder, often related to congenital defects or cancer treatments. More broadly, thymus function naturally declines with age, which can contribute to poorer immune system function, and lead to increased vulnerability to illness and poorer health outcomes.

Wednesday, September 27:

ARPA-H announces award to address the rapidly growing threat of antimicrobial resistance and drive antibiotic discovery to improve health outcomes

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) today announced a new project to combat the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Bacterial infections remain a leading cause of death worldwide and more than 2.8 million antimicrobial-resistant infections occur each year in the United States, causing more than 35,000 deaths. These infections also further prolong hospital stays and increase healthcare costs.

To combat this crisis, ARPA-H is funding through its Open Broad Agency Announcement (Open BAA) the Defeating Antibiotic Resistance through Transformative Solutions (DARTS) project. DARTS focuses on developing a set of diagnostic and experimental platforms that that can reveal insights into how antibiotic resistance starts, search for new antibiotics, and rapidly identify the right antibiotic to prescribe for a particular infection in real time.

DARTS will aid in the stewardship of current antibiotics helping to ensure that patients get the antibiotics they need and not ones that they do not need. This is a critical component of the strategy to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics over time and slow resistance to these drugs. The DARTS project further aims to serve as a rapid platform for the discovery of new antibiotics from natural samples. Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts leads the multi-institution research team under an agreement of up to $104 million.

Tuesday, September 26:

To advance President Biden’s Unity Agenda, Biden-Harris Administration announces nearly $115 million in new funding for cutting edge research projects in support of Cancer Moonshot objectives

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing the launch of three major projects funded under agreements with the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health’s (ARPA-H) for radical new ways to detect and treat cancer. These research projects represent the Agency’s commitment to supporting Cancer Moonshot goals of decreasing cancer deaths and improving the quality of life for patients. Accelerating the fight against cancer is a core component of the President’s Unity Agenda, a set of priorities that Americans from every walk of life can support. Today’s announcement helps advance the Agenda, including the work of the Cancer Moonshot, specifically by helping to develop novel technologies for early detection and treatment of cancers.

ARPA-H announces site selections by launching nationwide health innovation network

Today, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced the launch of ARPANET-H, a nationwide health innovation network anchored by three ARPA-H regional hubs in Dallas, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; and Washington, D.C. The hubs will be mission-focused, regional centers with a growing network of spokes from around the country representing the diversity of people, settings, and capabilities that encompass the American health ecosystem.

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