The Foundation in the News

Jul 12, 2021

BioBonds in New York Times: Ask Congress to Support Biomedical Research for Treatments and Cures

Karen Petrou invented a new funding model for curing blindness. Proposed legislation aims to apply it to medical research more generally.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is delighted to report that we are getting excellent support and momentum for HR 3437, the Long-term Opportunities for Advancing New Studies (LOANS) for Biomedical Research Act, which has the potential to advance many more treatments and cures across the finish line, including those for eye and retinal conditions.

New York Times feature story is providing a great boost for this critical, bipartisan legislation on Capitol Hill. The article highlights Foundation Board Director and BioBonds visionary, Karen Petrou, and her late husband and co-visionary, Basil.

You can read the story, “BioBonds Would Use Wall St. Tools to Fund Medical Research,” online (You may need to have an New York Times account or set up a free trial to read the full story).

HR 3437 authorizes a loan program for clinical trials that have received FDA clearance and are focused on boosting the development of much-needed treatments and cures for a broad range of conditions, including inherited retinal diseases. Known as BioBonds, the loan packages would provide up to $10 billion annually for three years for clinical trials. Because the loans must be paid back, the program would have minimal impact on taxpayers.

While COVID-19 disrupted more than 1,000 clinical trials, accelerated development of COVID-19 vaccines has demonstrated that significant investment can speed cures and treatments to patients, and the federal government can and should leverage private sector investment to fund biomedical research.

We ask that you contact your congressional representative and ask them to support HR 3437, which would help get many more promising therapies, including those for retinal diseases, into and through clinical trials.

To Contact Your Representative: Click here to identify your Member of Congress and access their contact information. Below is sample letter, you can use for reaching out to ask for their support. If they are already a co-sponsor, please thank them for supporting this critical legislation.

We currently have 16 co-sponsors and 26 organizational supporters.

Increased private sector investment made possible by BioBonds would significantly boost biomedical research that yields treatments and cures for so many unmet medical needs. Thanks for taking a moment to contact your congressional representative to ask for their support.

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Sample letter for contacting your Member in the House:

Dear Rep. [last name],

As a constituent in your district, I urge you to support HR 3437, the Long-term Opportunities for Advancing New Studies (LOANS) for Biomedical Research Act, which authorizes a loan program for clinical trials that have received FDA clearance and are focused on boosting development of much-needed treatments and cures for a broad range of conditions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and blinding eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.Furthermore, HR 3437 would have minimal impact on taxpayers because researchers and therapy developers would be required to pay back the loans.

A recent feature story in the New York Times highlights this important bill and its potential impact. I hope you will take a moment to read it.

You can also learn more about the legislation at www.biobonds.org.

Hundreds of clinical trials in the U.S. for critical treatments and cures were stalled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. HR 3437 would help get those back on track. As we have learned, accelerated development of COVID-19 vaccines has demonstrated that significant investment can speed cures and treatments to patients, and the federal government can and should leverage private sector investment to fund biomedical research. 

[Add a brief personal comment here, if desired, to explain why the legislation is important to you and your family.]

Thank you for considering support for this critical legislation.

Sincerely,

Your name
Address
Phone and/or e-mail