Biden to Sign Order Boosting Biotech as Part of Cancer Moonshot Update

President Joe Biden will announce today the director of a new agency focused on biomedical innovation and sign an executive order on biotechnologies. 

The move comes as a part of an overall update on his administration’s efforts to cure cancer.

Biden will travel to Boston on the 60th anniversary of former President John F. Kennedy’s “Moonshot” speech at Rice University. At the historical site, Kennedy outlined his goal for the United States to land a man on the moon.

President Biden will provide an update on his administration’s “Cancer Moonshot.” The White House called it another bold vision for another American moonshot: ending cancer as we know it.  

Biden relaunched the initiative this year in February. The goal is to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years and improve the lives of caregivers and cancer survivors.

Biden will announce today that Renee Wegrzyn is being appointed as the inaugural director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health. The new agency was created in March and it focuses on developing biomedical technologies to improve health outcomes.

Also today Biden will sign an executive order launching a national biotechnology and biomanufacturing initiative. 

The latest executive order will boost research into the space and will aim to solidify supply chains so that biotechnologies used in the fight against cancer are developed and produced in the U.S.

“This initiative is rooted in the principles of equity, ethics, safety, and security that will help benefit all Americans and the global community, and maintain United States technological leadership and economic competitiveness,” the White House said in its announcement. 

The White House compared the new announcement with Kennedy’s 60 years ago, saying that the United States had the building blocks to know what was possible. However, there were major scientific and societal advances that needed to happen.

The fact sheet said that six decades ago the U.S. needed to fully commit to a future in which traveling to the moon was possible, and today, we have many of the building blocks needed to make significant progress combatting cancer, but we must come together to equitably deliver on this promise. 

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