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ARPA-H Unveils $100M Funding for Biden-Harris Women's Health Initiative

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This is ARPA-H’s first major deliverable of the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research since the Agency was created in 2022 as part of President Biden’s bipartisan Unity Agenda, seeking to advance and accelerate health solutions.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) recently announced a $100 million investment toward the Biden-Harris Administration’s initiative on women's health research, aiming to advance transformative research and development in women's health.

This is ARPA-H’s first major deliverable of the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research since the Agency was created in 2022 as part of President Biden’s bipartisan Unity Agenda, seeking to advance and accelerate health solutions.

According to ARPA-H Director Renee Wegrzyn in an interview with Axios, the investment is “part of federal efforts to close gender gaps in research, which supporters say have led to insufficient funding for endometriosis, MS and other conditions that disproportionately affect women...”

Wegrzyn added the agency's program managers plan to develop focus areas for the women's health research efforts and solicit ideas for potential solutions, which could range from medical treatments and detection tools to new research models or gene-editing technology.

“Barriers to women’s health research can and must be lifted by organizations like ARPA-H,” Wegrzyn also said in an ARPA-H release. “The ARPA-H Sprint for Women's Health intends to fundamentally change the trajectory of women’s health care and radically accelerate the next generation of discoveries that range from early laboratory proofs of concept that may impact future generations, to products that are ready to be commercialized and launched to start improving women’s health today.”

First Lady Jill Biden claimed the White House Initiative will change how our nation approaches and funds women’s health research as it’s “always been underfunded, and as a result, we know far too little about our own health.”

Last Wednesday, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra visited Boston, Massachusetts, for an event with the First Lady to announce the $100 million investment.

“The issue of healthcare for women has faced challenges longer than any of us have been alive: scientific challenges, clinical challenges, political challenges, and now this week, down in Alabama, another legal challenge,” said Becerra in remarks at the event. “The key here is that President Joe Biden made [ARPA-H's announcement] possible: $100 million. That is everything. And with the First Lady launching this White House initiative on women's health research, we have the focus we need. And so at the Department of Health and Human Services, she had us at hello: we are ready to go.”

The issue in Alabama was also announced last week where the Alabama Supreme Court's ruling granting personhood to embryos sparked confusion across the state.

This prompted the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), the largest healthcare system in the state, to pause all IVF treatments, citing concerns about potential legal consequences for patients and physicians following standard IVF care.

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