ARPA-H: Filling a Gap in the Health Ecosystem
Dr. Renee Wegrzyn, the first director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), provides an overview of this recently established agency in her presentation. ARPA-H was established in 2022 by President Biden. The agency is focused on developing breakthrough health innovations and bets that the private sector and other federal ecosystems cannot undertake. The agency set aside three key geographies to serve new health initiatives, established a hub-and-spoke network involving all 50 states, and created an investor catalyst involving the private sector. The agency solicits ideas through program managers, whom they are always hiring, and an open broad agency announcement where the public can submit their ideas via a three-page form. Its current projects focus on revolutionizing osteoarthritis treatment, body immunity self-regulation, cyber-security protection for health devices, data management, mRNA capability enhancement, 3D printing of human hearts, and cancer detection and treatment. They are set to launch a new program called Apex, which uses AI and machine learning capabilities to tackle viral infections. Dr. Wegrzyn encourages people to engage with ARPA-H through various pathways and to join their bi-weekly newsletter for updates.