Below the Radar

December 23rd, 2011 by MorganDowney Leave a reply »

Before leaving for his holiday in Hawaii, President Barack Obama signed the appropriations bill to keep the government running. Included in the bill is a provision establishing the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). This center is the brainchild of NIH Director Francis Collins. Statement by NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins – NIH Launches National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, December 23, 2011 – The NIH Director – National Institutes of Health (NIH) It is intended to develop resources at NIH to facilitate moving basic biomedical research into treatments and removing roadblocks to incorporating new findings into patient care. Off the record, NIH officials are concerned that one of the bigger roadblocks is the failure of new drugs to gain approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Obviously, this includes drugs to treat obesity. While addressing this specific issue is not part of the NCATS mission, it clearly provides a platform to move in this direction. The very first activity of this center is a collaboration with FDA and DARPA to develop a chip to screen new drugs for toxicity. NIH, DARPA and FDA collaborate to develop cutting-edge technologies to predict drug safety, September 16, 2011 News Release – National Institutes of Health (NIH)

As it happens, my paper on the FDA approval process, written with colleagues,] Christopher Still and Arya Sharma, specifically called for a NIH-FDA-industry-patient group collaboration to find ways to overcome obstacles to the approval of drugs to treat obesity. What’s Up with the FDA – Part 5 | The Downey Obesity Report

So, keep an eye on NCATS. It may become very important and relevant to advancing the treatment of obesity. Proposed NCATS « Feedback NIH