Joe Biden

Statement on the Cancer Moonshot Initiative

August 23, 2023

In my unity agenda I announced in my State of the Union Address last year, I called on Congress to establish and fund the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). Members on both sides of the aisle answered my call, and already, ARPA-H is meeting its mission to create breakthroughs in how to prevent, detect, and treat cancer and other diseases. At a time when most people thought bipartisan action wasn't possible anymore, we're proving that making progress on our toughest health challenges like cancer is something every American can get behind. That's why I made it a central pillar of my unity agenda for the Nation, and why Jill and I reignited the Cancer Moonshot, to end cancer as we know it.

Today we're taking an important step forward in achieving that ambitious goal, with a new ARPA-H program to use mRNA technology to train our own immune systems to fight cancer, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases more effectively.

Over the past few years, COVID-19 vaccines developed using mRNA technology have saved millions of lives around the world. These therapies, which were kickstarted by American scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), represent the power of American ingenuity and innovation. Now, a skilled team at Emory University in Atlanta will work to adapt these technologies to turn more cancers into curable diseases. This is a bold endeavor that has the potential to transform the fight against cancer and other difficult diagnoses.

I've long said that America can be defined by a single word: possibilities. My unity agenda is bringing both parties together in that spirit—to get big things done for the American people. There is more work to do, but there's nothing we can't do if we do it together.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement on the Cancer Moonshot Initiative Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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