Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association

CHARM Makes Pitch for Locating Federal Research Initiative in Mass.

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A group of Massachusetts life science and health entities, including MHA, universities, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, and others have joined to form Coalition for Health Advances & Research in Massachusetts (CHARM). The Coalition’s main goal is to position Massachusetts as the site for ARPA-H — the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health – the new division within U.S. Health & Human Services charged with improving the U.S. government’s capabilities to speed research that can prevent, detect, and treat a range of diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

President Joseph Biden proposed ARPA-H earlier this year and the agency’s initial funding ($1 billion) was included in a March 2022 omnibus bill. The focus now is on determining where ARPA-H will be located; CHARM was formed to rally support for locating ARPA-H’s headquarters in Massachusetts to take advantage of the area’s hospitals, universities, and intellectual capital.

Today’s announcement of CHARM’s creation is timely as President Biden is scheduled to speak at the JFK Library in Boston today to give a speech on his “cancer moonshot” initiative. The speech coincides with the sixtieth anniversary of President Kennedy’s moonshot speech.

CHARM steering committee members include Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, MHA, Association of Independent Colleges & Universities in Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts, Boston University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, City of Boston, and members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation.