The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced in a press release the establishment of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a center dedicated to the translation of scientific discoveries into new drugs, diagnostics, and devices. The establishment of the new center came as a result of Congress’ approval of the fiscal year 2012 spending bill and the president’s signing of the bill, which contained a budget of $575 million for NCATS.
The budget for NCATS is primarily derived from a reallocation of funds from the NIH Office of the Director, the National Human Genome Research Institute, and the National Center for Research Resources. According to the release, NIH does not expect the establishment of NCATS to adversely affect funding for basic or applied research.
The following programs will comprise NCATS:
NCATS aims to be a national center for catalyzing innovations in translational science, and will collaborate with partners in regulatory, academic, nonprofit, and private sectors to identify and overcome hurdles that slow the development of effective treatments and cures. NIH Director Francis S. Collins, said in the release, “Patients suffering from debilitating and life-threatening diseases do not have the luxury to wait the 13 years it currently takes to translate new scientific discoveries into treatments that could save or improve the quality of their lives. The entire community must work together to forge a new paradigm, and NCATS aims to catalyze this effort.”