May 21, 2021

Foundation Fighting Blindness Applauds Introduction of LOANS for Biomedical Research Act

Press Releases

Legislation provides innovative financing for clinical trials stalled by COVID-19 pandemic.

Media Contact: 
Erica Stanley
(202) 838-6855

COLUMBIA, Md., May 21, 2021 – Ben Yerxa, PhD, CEO of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the world’s leading organization committed to finding treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases, released the following statement in response to the introduction of the Long-term Opportunities for Advancing New Studies (LOANS) for Biomedical Research Act (H.R. 3437) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The LOANS Act establishes loans known as BioBonds  providing up to $10 billion annually for three years for therapies ready for clinical trials. BioBonds are comprised of loans to eligible researchers, universities, and start-ups that have received FDA clearance to proceed into clinical trials advancing novel treatments and cures. Borrowers would be required to demonstrate their ability to repay the loans. Increased private sector investment made possible by BioBonds would significantly boost biomedical research that yields treatments and cures for unmet medical needs.

“As the remarkable speed of the COVID-19 vaccines development and approval processes have demonstrated, financial capacity – not scientific knowledge – is our biggest hurdle to advancing medical research and delivering the life-saving treatments and cures millions of Americans so desperately await.

We applaud Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) for their leadership in introducing the LOANS for Biomedical Research Act (H.R. 3437) to help address the financial ‘valley of death’ which has long separated promising biomedical research from the end-stage clinical trials critical to delivering trusted treatments and cures. 

From blindness to cancer to juvenile diabetes, the private sector dollars that this bill will infuse into biomedical research will jumpstart clinical trials stalled by the pandemic. These trials are designed to convert basic science into treatments and cures for these diseases and so many more, which is why it’s supported by a growing number of patient advocacy organizations.” 

For more comprehensive information about BioBonds, visit

About the Foundation Fighting Blindness
Established in 1971, the Foundation Fighting Blindness is the world’s leading private funding source for retinal degenerative disease research. The Foundation has raised more than $816 million toward its mission of accelerating research for preventing, treating, and curing blindness caused by the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. Visit for more information.