Washington, D.C. – This morning, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE) co-hosted and spoke at a policy briefing featuring experts from Nemours Children’s Health System and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The briefing highlighted the urgent need to include children in pioneering cancer research and the precision medicine initiative that studies how differences in genetics, environment, and lifestyle can be identified to help develop tailored personalized treatments for critical diseases.
Rubio’s remarks can be watched here. A partial transcript of Rubio’s remarks is below.
RUBIO: Even though our technical capabilities have caught up to enable researchers to pinpoint similarities in adult and childhood cancer genomes, the law that prompts companies to examine the drug’s safety in children has not been updated. The pace of innovation is moving much faster than the ability of a republic to keep pace with. As early as this week, we have an opportunity to finally change that. As I already mentioned earlier, Senator Bennet of Colorado and I have worked on legislation, the RACE for Children Act, to close this, what I believe was an unintended loophole. And this bill is expected to be included in a larger package to be voted on in the House hopefully as early as this week.
Now what this is, this is the result of a lot of hard work from a number of stakeholders, including our hosts here today. So this is an exciting step forward, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. With the launch of the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot and the All of Us Precision Medicine initiatives, we have a real opportunity to close the gaps between public policy and research with today’s technology. And we must all work together to ensure that as we close that gap, pediatric medicine in general and pediatric oncology in particular are not left out.
Photo courtesy of Senator Rubio’s office.