The National Institutes of Health (NIH) chose the Mayo Clinic’s Biobank facility in Rochester to be the one centralized biobank in the U.S. tasked with holding the biospecimens of all patients participating in the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program; the grant will fuel the development of new disease treatments and spur innovation to create more precise preventative care, improve health outcomes, and drive down costs over the course of care
In March, Klobuchar led a letter with the entire Minnesota Congressional Delegation to NIH Director Collins in support of the Mayo Clinic’s applications for the PMI Cohort Program; last fall, Klobuchar hosted Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell at Mayo and they toured the Biobank
WASHINGTON, DC – After efforts from U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, along with Representative Tim Walz, today the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $142 million grant to the Mayo Clinic’s Biobank. The NIH chose the Mayo Clinic’s Biobank in Rochester to be the one centralized biobank in the U.S. tasked with holding biospecimens of all patients participating in the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program. The grant will help fuel the development of new disease treatments and spur innovation to create more precise preventative care, which could improve health outcomes and drive down costs over the course of care. In March, Klobuchar led a letter with the entire Minnesota Congressional Delegation to NIH Director Collins in support of the Mayo Clinic’s applications for the PMI Cohort Program. Last fall, Klobuchar hosted Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Burwell at Mayo and they toured the Biobank.
“The Mayo Clinic’s Biobank is a world-class medical facility and a leader in health care innovation,” said Klobuchar. “This important grant will further the strides of the Mayo Clinic’s Biobank in precision medicine, which tailors health care to a person’s genes, environment, and lifestyle in order to better treat and prevent diseases. Investment in the vital medical research happening in Minnesota and across the country can reduce suffering, save lives, and create good jobs.”
“The Mayo Clinic is one of the finest medical treatment and research centers in the world,” said Franken. “And Mayo’s Biobank is a global leader in innovation and cutting-edge research. This grant will allow the Biobank to advance research in precision medicine, which will support the development of life-saving medicines and create more precise preventive care methods that will improve the health of people across the world. This is great news for Mayo Clinic, Southeast Minnesota, and for public health.”
“Mayo Clinic continues to lead in world class research and innovation,” said Walz. “This grant will go a long way to ensuring Mayo’s Biobank can conduct cutting-edge research that will save lives and improve quality of life for so many. Minnesota is immensely proud of the incredible, pioneering research happening in our state.”
Klobuchar has long prioritized investing in medical research and the work of the NIH. She is a cosponsor of the American Cures Act, a bill that would authorize an additional investment of five percent per year at the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other research institutes. In October, Klobuchar and Burwell highlighted the cutting-edge medical research underway in Minnesota during visits to the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota.
A member of the Senate Health Committee, Franken has fought hard since coming to the Senate to keep Minnesota a hub for medical innovation and research. During last year’s budget negotiations, he pressed his Senate colleagues to maintain a strong commitment to funding the NIH and the Precision Medicine Initiative. More recently he’s championed scientific and medical research by supporting the Medical Innovation Act, which would help ensure that the U.S. continues to produce life-saving discoveries and maintains its standing as a global leader in research.
The full text of the lawmakers’ March letter is below.
Dear Dr. Collins:
The Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) has the potential to issue in a new era of personalized medicine. The Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program, a major piece of the PMI, will gather important health data from over a million volunteers. This will fuel the development of new disease treatments and will spur innovation to create more precise preventive care, improve health outcomes, and drive down costs over the course of care. We strongly support the Mayo Clinic’s applications for the PMI Cohort Program Biobank and Healthcare Provider Organization (HPO) Enrollment Center.
With the objective of enrolling more than one million volunteers over five years into a research cohort to track their health and clinical outcomes, the PMI Cohort Program is an ambitious project in need of strong private-sector partners. The professionals at the Mayo Clinic Bioservices facility in Rochester, overseen by the Center for Individualized Medicine, have real-world experience with the required automated technologies for sample processing, labeling, DNA extraction, and robotic freezer storage. They currently host well over 5 million patient specimens in their existing biobank and have set aside capital to outfit new space and equipment for an additional 35 million samples. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell had the opportunity to visit this facility in October 2015 and see firsthand the cutting edge research underway.
Given the Mayo Clinic’s experience and expertise in precision medicine, we ask that you give due consideration for their application to serve as the PMI Cohort Program’s centralized biobank (U24 grant RFA-PM-16-004). Their application includes details on how they will use sample accessioning and collection networks and delivery mechanisms that already exist nationwide through Mayo Medical Laboratories. This innovative, cost-savings element of their proposal would keep costs lower, allowing limited resources to focus on key patient engagement efforts within the PMI Cohort Program. Additionally, they would hire an estimated 40 new full time employees, providing well paying, stable jobs in our home state of Minnesota.
We would also draw to your attention to the fact that Mayo Clinic will be partnering with the University of Mississippi in applying to serve as a HPO Enrollment Center (RFA-PM-16-002). Their ability to recruit and engage patients over time over a vast geographic footprint, combined with the resulting efficiencies of data and biospecimen collections makes them a strong candidate for the PMI Cohort Program.
With multiple clinic and hospital locations in five states and a network affiliate covering 23 states, Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine is strongly positioned to meet the requirements for the PMI Cohort Program grants. We ask that you give them due consideration for the PMI Cohort Program Biobank and HPO Center. Thank you for your consideration.