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ARPA-H Commits $100 Million to Accelerate Women’s Health Research through Sprint for Women’s Health

On February 21, 2024, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) announced a $100 million commitment to research and development in women’s health through Sprint for Women’s Health, a first-of-its-kind effort. This is a major step for the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, a priority of the president and First Lady Jill Biden. The agency’s upcoming request for solutions (RS) will be administered by the Investor Catalyst Hub located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

What to Expect

Throughout the month of March, ARPA-H Program Managers, who are evaluating research proposals within their areas of expertise and making targeted investment decisions, will announce specific research targets for this RS. We can expect them to approach the Sprint for Women’s Health RS with an expansive view, building upon their collective centuries of experience in health care innovation and commercialization. Watch for conditions not traditionally characterized as “women’s health issues” to be the focus. For instance, the Sprint for Women’s Health may tackle women’s disproportionate risks following a heart attack compared to male peers, a reality ML Strategies client Abiomed has been working for years to address at the bedside and in Congress. Long dominated by a focus on sexual and reproductive health and breast cancer, ARPA-H has signaled an objective to redefine women’s health, leverage federal investment to attract high-impact research and private investment capital, and make real and demonstrable progress toward gender equity in care.

On March 6 at 11:00 am ET, ARPA-H staff will host a virtual Proposer’s Day, which will give the R&D community an opportunity to engage with agency staff and ask questions about the Sprint for Women’s Health.

Background on ARPA-H

ARPA-H was created in 2022 and tasked with making high-potential, high-impact investments in biomedical research. Seeking to maximize the United States’ robust health care research and development network, ARPA-H last year solicited proposals for two remote hubs to manage networks of innovation assets. Working with the Massachusetts Medical Device Innovation Council (MassMEDIC), ML Strategies advised a team of Massachusetts stakeholders as they drafted a proposal to host the Investor Catalyst Hub. The proposal brought together the Commonwealth’s esteemed research institutions, world-class academic medical centers, innovative private sector, and aggressive investment community. After a highly competitive process, ARPA-H awarded the Investor Catalyst Hub, which is responsible for commercializing agency-supported research, to Cambridge. The Customer Experience Hub, which is focused on human-centered design and provider engagement, is located in Dallas, Texas. Together, ARPANET-H is working to implement the agency’s various funding opportunities, including the Sprint for Women’s Health.

Mintz’s Women’s Health and Technology practice and ML Strategies welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you to accelerate innovation supporting women’s health by exploring opportunities with ARPA-H and the Investor Catalyst Hub.


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