WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden will release on Monday a report on the administration’s Cancer Moonshot initiative designed to speed the development of new cancer drugs and diagnostics.
The project, led by Biden, aims to double the speed of cancer research over five years by increasing collaboration between government and industry, simplifying clinical trials and fostering greater transparency in research.
The $1 billion project was announced by President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address in January. Since then Biden, whose son Beau died last year at age 46 from brain cancer, has announced multiple investments and collaborations in support of the project.
The report, prepared by a multi-agency task force, summarizes the work completed so far and outlines a path forward over the next five years.
“It’s also a report to the American people, sharing the story of the spirit of discovery that defines this country and that gives me every confidence that we can do this,” Biden said in a separate statement to the president, made available ahead of its formal delivery on Monday afternoon.
Among other initiatives, the report describes new measures to accelerate development of blood tests to diagnose cancer and identify which patients might benefit from specific treatments.
“Every agency in the task force, from the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense to the patent office is doing something new to move this effort forward,” Greg Simon, executive director of the moonshot task force said on a conference call with reporters ahead of the report’s delivery.
Among the new measures being taken: The Defense Department will use artificial intelligence to analyze its collection of tissue from tumors to look for patterns that could predict cancer.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has launched a pilot program to cut in half the time to review certain cancer therapy patent applications from an average of about two years to less than 12 months.
Ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft will help patients get to the doctor and to clinical trials, and Microsoft and Amazon have committed to create cloud storage to the effort.
The Environmental Protection Agency will invigorate a program to reduce radon exposure by working with the Department of Housing and Urban development in an effort that could save 3,200 lives a year starting in 2020, Simon said.
Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Cynthia Osterman