House panel questions NCATS structure, mission

03/22/2012 | Nature News

The new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences will not take away resources from basic science research or from other programs, such as the Institutional Development Award, NIH Director Francis Collins told members of a House subcommittee. The center will initially focus on "bottlenecks" in drug development, Collins said. MacroGenics CEO Scott Koenig said that NCATS is a "unique opportunity" to speed drug development through work on predictive toxicology, identifying biomarkers and other areas on which drugmakers do not focus. Collins warned lawmakers that planned across-the-board budget cuts would cost NIH $2.5 billion, effectively erasing 2,300 grants planned for fiscal year 2013.

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