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US news roundup: 10-16 September


This week: drug prices, NSF partnerships and money for genome research

In depth: Members of the House of Representatives science committee have drawn up plans to spend over $45 billion on R&D, as part of the Democratic party’s efforts to lock in $3.5 trillion of investment in infrastructure.

Full story: $45bn for R&D divvied up in controversial US spending plan

Also this week from Research Professional News

Charles Rotimi to steer US genetics institute—Nigerian becomes first Africa-born scientist to take NIH scientific director post


Here is the rest of the US news this week…

White House presents plan to lower drug costs

The federal government will invest in basic and translational drug R&D, as part of a wider effort to lower prices. “Too often pharmaceutical companies invest in product development aimed at extending the monopolies of already-approved products,” a White House report on the topic claimed. Policy will aim to tease out innovations “with the greatest health impact”, the plan said, with the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health given a major role in getting such products to market.

Six new NSF partnerships announced

The National Science Foundation will fund six more long-term partnerships between universities, national laboratories, industry and others. The partnership topics include microbe-driven chemical cycles, light-interacting materials, climate modelling, ice-core sampling, phosphorus use and agronomy. Each of the partnerships involves between four and 15 organisations, and will receive up to $5 million per year to spend on research and education.

$185m allocated to understanding the human genome

The National Institutes of Health will fund 30 sites across the United States to work together as the Impact of Genomic Variation on Function consortium. The NIH is providing about $185 million over five years for the team-up. It will work on unpicking how health is affected by the 0.1 per cent of genomes that differ between individuals. Genetic variants linked to disease will be catalogued and publicly shared, the agency said.