July 21, 2022
WASHINGTON – This week, the entire Missouri congressional delegation, led by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, and signed by Senator Josh Hawley, and U.S. Representatives Emanuel Cleaver, II, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Billy Long, Ann Wagner, Jason Smith, Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, and Cori Bush, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra urging the department to select Missouri for the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) headquarters. ARPA-H will utilize public-private partnerships to dramatically accelerate the development and approval of new treatments and technologies, and to respond to the most daunting health problems Americans face today.
“We write to express our strong support to locate the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) in the State of Missouri, where an extraordinary biomedical ecosystem already exists,” the delegation said. “Missouri is home to world-class universities and the health and technology innovation districts created in tandem with hospitals, a convergence of a wide variety of technical specialties with health as a unifying theme, entrepreneurial talent, cutting-edge independent research centers, multinational health companies, and unique research facilities.”
In the letter, the members highlight Missouri universities whose innovation districts and partnerships with hospitals combine traditional health sectors with emerging technologies to help prepare for future health challenges. The members cite successful partnerships across the state, including the Cortex Innovation Community in St. Louis, the UMKC Health Sciences District in Kansas City, and the One Health and Mizzou Forward initiative in Columbia.
The delegation continued, “With the state’s heritage of life science, biopharmaceutical, veterinary medicine, and health care services, we are integrating nanoscience, IT/software, law, and finance. … Leveraging Missouri’s universities, innovation districts, health corporations, and unique research facilities will serve as a benefit to ARPA-H and we hope the state will receive due consideration when choosing a location for ARPA-H.”
Full text of the letter is available here.