The three-year-old NIH program charged with helping develop drugs for rare diseases has left a favorable impression among voters on a recent GEN poll. Exactly half (50%) of respondents said the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program will be “very” helpful in stimulating development of drugs for rare and neglected diseases, while another 25% said TRND will be “somewhat” helpful. Of the remainder, most (18.8%) said the program would be of “not much” help, while 6.3% were undecided.
Funding for TRND would rise 15.6%, or $3.79 million, in President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for the 2013 fiscal year, from the current $23.995 million to $27.745 million. Obama tried and failed to bump up TRND spending to $50 million this fiscal year, during which the agency brought the program under its new translational science center, ending years of relying on assessments cobbled together from existing institutes and centers. Created in 2009, TRND has grown to 14 projects, which includes four pilot projects. A new solicitation for projects is expected to come out later this year.