NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the debut of a Public Service Announcement (PSA), The Suzanne Wright Foundation has launched a national campaign for HARPA, a Health Advanced Research Projects Agency, whose objective is to lead the development of new capabilities in biomedical research. Modeled after DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, HARPA would leverage existing federal research assets, and the technologies of the private sector, to drive medical breakthroughs for diseases that have not benefitted from the current system. There are more than 9,000 known human diseases, yet there are treatments for only 500 of them.
"There has been no improvement in the mortality rate of pancreatic cancer in more than forty years. We have no early detection tools or curative treatments," said Bob Wright, Founder of The Suzanne Wright Foundation. "Pancreatic cancer is one example of the limitations of the current system to address deadly diseases with any urgency. HARPA is a bold new approach that would go beyond basic research to build technologies to cure disease."
In commenting on HARPA's potential, Dr. Geoffrey Ling, Founder and Former Director of the DARPA Biotech Office said, "DARPA is the gold standard for innovation, accountability, and results. HARPA would employ DARPA's mission-oriented approach with aggressive timetables to drive medical breakthroughs and address critical health problems facing Americans. It would leverage the basic science foundations laid by other federal agencies to develop the new diagnosis, the new cure, the new treatment."
DARPA was established in 1958, during the space race, to leverage the remarkable scientific and engineering breakthroughs occurring throughout the United States, and bring them together to solve specific problems. DARPA programs have since developed transformational technologies for the Department of Defense, including the Internet, GPS navigation, stealth technology, and robotic prostheses.
The United States has a tremendous foundation of scientific and technical knowledge built by federal research agencies and the private sector. Massive investments in biotech, supercomputing, big data, and artificial intelligence offer more promise than ever in disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment.
The HARPA PSA, produced in partnership with Ketchum Studios, part of Ketchum Digital, will air in rotation on AMC Networks, Discovery Networks, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, ION Media, and Univision. It can also be seen at CodePurpleNow.org.
About The Suzanne Wright Foundation
Bob Wright, former Vice Chairman of General Electric, Chairman of NBCUniversal, and Co-founder of Autism Speaks, founded The Suzanne Wright Foundation in honor of his wife Suzanne, who died from pancreatic cancer. The CodePurple initiative advocates for a new approach to federal research built on accountability and results. Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. Ninety one percent of patients die, most within the first year of diagnosis. There are no early detection tests and no curative treatments. During her lifetime, Suzanne championed the most vulnerable among us. After her diagnosis, she made it her mission to fight pancreatic cancer with that same determination. The Suzanne Wright Foundation and its CodePurple initiative honor Suzanne's legacy as a fighter and advocate for the underserved. To learn more, visit: CodePurpleNow.org
From: The Suzanne Wright Foundation
Jackie Kepping Orsher
SOURCE The Suzanne Wright Foundation