The full story was originally published in Bloomberg Government.
The level of federal investment has attracted a range of cities, companies, and universities. Some lawmakers, notably Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), want any new funds or authorizations for ARPA-H to come with the requirement the new research group be located far from NIH’s Maryland campus.
Boston-area universities, pharmaceutical companies, and their trade groups this year formed Coalition for Health Advances and Research in Massachusetts, or CHARM, to attract ARPA-H to the state.
The group organized state lawmakers and contacted the Biden administration to pitch the state, pointing to the presence of renowned universities and life science companies. Having the research agency’s program managers in the state would mean becoming a hub for groups pitching them for funding.
“If it’s not going to be in Washington, D.C., then there is no better place than here,” said Steve Walsh, president and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Hospital & Health Association, part of CHARM.
The group paid $20,000 to hire Ann Jablon, the former chief of staff of Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), and Robert Diamond, a White House staffer under President Barack Obama, to lobby on its behalf this year. Part of that lobbying effort has supported the Senate’s ARPA-H authorization, which included language requiring the agency be housed outside the nation’s capital area, Walsh said.