Industry News

May 21, 2021

New Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Boost Clinical Research for Treatments and Cures

The bill would provide loans to therapy developers ready to launch clinical trials for a broad range of conditions including eye diseases.

Reps. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) have introduced H.R. 3437, The Long-term Opportunities for Advancing New Studies (LOANS) for Biomedical Research Act, which authorizes loans known as BioBonds to researchers and companies ready to launch 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 inherited retinal diseases.

The Foundation strongly supports H.R. 3437, which would provide up to $10 billion annually for three years to eligible researchers. Loan recipients would need to demonstrate their ability to repay the loans, thereby minimizing the cost of the program to taxpayers.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the disruption of thousands of clinical trials for treatments and cures for eye and retinal diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, sickle-cell anemia and many more conditions. However, 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.

BioBonds are an extension of the concept behind Eye Bonds, previous legislation that the Foundation helped introduce. With its broader reach, we believe BioBonds legislation has a better opportunity to be passed by Congress.

Several research- and disease-focused organizations support H.R. 3437.

The Foundation issued a press statement to promote its support for the BioBonds bill.

To ask your House Member to support the bill, click here to identify your Member of Congress and access their contact information. Phone calls and e-mails are both effective ways to reach out.

Current co-sponsors are:

  • Bobby Rush (D-IL-1) — lead
  • Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) — lead
  • Danny K. Davis (D-IL-7)
  • Andre Carson (D-IN-7)
  • Jim Cooper (D-TN-5)
  • Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ-3)
  • Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS-2)
  • Brad Schneider (D-IL-10)
  • Sanford Bishop (D-GA-2)
  • Terri Sewell (D-AL-7)
  • Jake Auchincloss (D-MA-4)
  • Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5)
  • John Rutherford (R-FL-4)
  • Steve Cohen (D-TN-9)
  • Mike Levin (D-CA-49) 
  • Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-1)
  • Deborah Ross (D-NC-02)
  • Jared Huffman (D-CA-2)
  • Michael F. Doyle (D-PA-18)
  • G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1)

For more comprehensive information about BioBonds, visit BioBonds.org, or contact:

Ben Shaberman
Senior Director, Scientific Outreach
Foundation Fighting Blindness
bshaberman@fightingblindness.org
(410) 423-0634