Skip navigation

Calls to Action

U.S. House passes biomedical innovations legislation

The landmark bill now heads to the U.S. Senate
December 02, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed biomedical innovations legislation known as the 21st Century Cures Act by a vote of 392-26. The legislation outlines provisions to increase funding of the National Institutes of Health, modernize clinical trials, and accelerate the rate of innovations including the development of personalized and precision medicines.

Autism Speaks worked closely with grassroots advocates and champions in Congress to include provisions that would accelerate biomedical innovations for individuals with autism and better include patients in the drug approval process.

The 21st Century Cures Act was authored by Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO), full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX). 

“With today’s overwhelming bipartisan vote, we took a giant leap forward on the #Path2Cures,” said Chairman Upton and Rep. DeGette. “21st Century Cures is the innovation game-changer that patients, their loved ones, and the nation’s researchers and scientists so desperately need. The White House has expressed its enthusiastic endorsement of this critical legislation.”

The Obama administration applauded the legislation in a statement from the White House Press Secretary, indicating the President’s intention to sign the legislation and urging the Senate to act soon. The statement highlighted that the legislation “invests nearly $3 billion to continue the President’s signature biomedical research initiatives, the BRAIN and Precision Medicine Initiatives, over the next decade to tackle diseases like Alzheimer’s and create new research models to find cures and better target treatments.” The statement added that, “It further advances the drug approval process by taking steps like modernizing clinical trial design and better incorporating patients’ voices into FDA’s decision-making processes.” 

Advocates are now urging the Senate to quickly pass this legislation to unlock the power of science and innovation for the autism community.

For more information about the 21st Century Cures Act from the Energy and Commerce Committee, click here