The 21st Century Cures Act

The Cures Act, formally known as H.R. 34 or the 21st Century Cures Act, passed overwhelmingly in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate with strong bipartisan support, and was signed into law on December 13, 2016.  The legislation provides NIH with critical tools and resources to advance biomedical research across the spectrum, from foundational basic research studies to advanced clinical trials of promising new therapies. 

Accelerating Research

Importantly, the Cures Act provides NIH with the flexibility and resources needed to accomplish its mission to improve the health of Americans. Most notably, the Cures Act implements measures to:

  • alleviate administrative burdens that can prolong the start of clinical trials
  • allow researchers to more easily attend scientific conferences where in-person collaboration can often lead to scientific breakthroughs
  • enhance data sharing among NIH-supported researchers
  • improve privacy protections for research volunteers
  • encourage inclusion of diverse populations represented in clinical research
  • open up new NIH funding opportunities for young investigators

The Innovation Fund

Additionally, the Cures Act provides multiyear funding to four highly innovative scientific initiatives:

  1. The All of Us Research Program, formerly known as the PMI Cohort Program,
  2. The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative seeks to better understand how the brain encodes, stores, and retrieves information, which will transform the ability to diagnose and treat neurological/mental disorders.
  3. The Cancer Moonshot℠
  4. The Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project will support clinical research in coordination with the FDA using adult stem cells to further the field of regenerative medicine.

The Cures Act allocates funding to NIH over each of the next 10 years, for a total of $4.8 billion.  However, funding must be appropriated each year.

Funding for NIH Innovative Research Initiatives under the Cures Act.*
Fiscal Year BRAIN PMI Cancer Moonshot Regenerative Medicine
millions of $
2017 10 40 300 2
2018 86 100 300 10
2019 115 186 400 10
2020 140 149 195 8
2021 100 109 195  
2022 152 150 194  
2023 450 419 216  
2024 172 235    
2025 91 36    
2026 195 31    
10-Yr total 1,511 1,455 1,800 30