Bipartisan congressional delegation sends letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services explaining why North Carolina is ideal location for ARPA-H to accomplish its mission
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Leaders from public and private universities, businesses, nonprofits, trade associations and state government have joined forces to bring the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health headquarters to North Carolina.
ARPA-H recently received $1 billion in inaugural funding from Congress to improve the U.S. government’s ability to speed biomedical and health research to prevent, detect and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer.
The ARPA-H in NC Coalition, facilitated by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, is some 30 partners strong and growing. The Coalition is coordinating efforts locally and in Washington to demonstrate that, with this partnership, ARPA-H can have a rapid, effective start and accomplish its mission in the Tar Heel state. Each partner adds to the case that North Carolina has the expertise, record of entrepreneurial disruption, cross-sector collaboration and scientific innovations. North Carolina translates ideas from initial technology to discovery to development through manufacturing to prevent, treat and potentially cure a range of diseases.
This statewide collaboration follows a recent bipartisan letter from members of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation led by Rep. David E. Price and both Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis. The bipartisan members urge Xavier Becerra, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to strongly consider North Carolina, with its unique assets, as the best location for launching ARPA-H’s success.
North Carolina has a “demonstrated record of industries partnering with our institutions of higher education across the state to bolster our nation’s health workforce, leading breakthrough biomedical, biotechnology and life sciences research on a global scale,” the letter states. “Our thriving economy, strategic location in the southeastern United States and low cost of living are attracting and retaining the world’s best and brightest. With an unmatched business environment, North Carolina offers a full complement of clinical, STEM, biotech and business training programs to prepare for a workforce skilled in cutting edge research, academia, health care and digital health for both public and private sectors.”
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper offered his support for bringing ARPA-H’s headquarters to North Carolina stating, “North Carolina is prepared to help do what we do best: Marshal our world-class universities, researchers, biotechnology companies and local leaders to build focused partnerships to solve big challenges. North Carolina is ready to support the most audacious innovations in health care, focused on equity in our practices and outcomes.”
Additionally, North Carolina’s bipartisan, bicameral legislative Life Sciences Caucus supports the effort to bring the ARPA-H headquarters to the state.
Mary Beth Thomas, senior vice president, science and business development at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center added, “North Carolina offers ARPA-H a thriving life sciences ecosystem, world-class educational and research institutions, broad talent pipeline and a diverse business climate unrivaled by other states. North Carolina’s ecosystem has a highly collaborative culture with partnerships at the core of our success. This environment will accelerate ARPA-H’s efforts to quickly and efficiently begin to address our nation’s biggest health challenges.”
“The same assets that make North Carolina a great home for RTI — its flourishing economy, diverse and skilled workforce, and thriving biotechnology and life sciences ecosystem — would also make our state an ideal site for ARPA-H,” said RTI International president and CEO Tim J. Gabel. "Along with our regional partners, we have the experience and expertise to ensure ARPA-H can quickly move medical innovations from the bench to the bedside and provide transformative health solutions for all patients.”
About the ARPA-H in NC Coalition
The ARPA-H in NC Coalition formed to be a partner to the agency in its mission to improve the health and lives of all Americans. Coalition members include Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Charlotte Region Business Alliance, Duke Health, Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University, ECU Health, East Carolina University, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, NCBIO, NC Chamber, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina Community College System, North Carolina Department of Commerce, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina Healthcare Association, North Carolina State University, Office of the Governor, Raleigh Chamber, RTI International, Research Triangle Foundation, Research Triangle Regional Partnership, SAS Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Charlotte, UNC Health, University of North Carolina System, Wake County Economic Development, and Wake Forest University.