Letter to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services - Senator Markey Leads Congressional Delegation in Urging Biden Admin. To Locate Federal High-risk, High-reward Research Center -- ARPA-H -- in Massachusetts


Dear Secretary Becerra,

As the Department of Health and Human Services begins to stand up the Advanced Research
Project Agency for Health (ARPA-H), we urge you to consider the unique assets of
Massachusetts to support and further the goals of this new agency. Massachusetts is a leader in
biomedical research, innovation, and discovery. Its world-class colleges and universities,
research institutions, health systems, and biotechnology industry represent an unparalleled base
of knowledge, resources, and proven ability to discover and innovate. As ARPA-H seeks to
accelerate medical breakthroughs and invest in high-risk, high-reward projects aimed at
preventing and curing infectious and rare diseases, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and other
serious conditions, the federal government and the American people would be the beneficiaries
of the rich innovation ecosystem in Massachusetts.

The Commonwealth is home to several of the top research universities in the world, including
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts
system, Boston University, Northeast University, Tufts University, and Brandeis University,
among many others. This rich university community supports leading research institutions, such
as the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Mass General Research Institute, which
are home to numerous Nobel laureates and leading researchers in medicine, genetics, biology,
and chemistry. The diverse, skilled, highly educated workforce that originates from our more
than 100 colleges and universities is Massachusetts's competitive advantage.

Massachusetts also has a culture of collaboration in support of biomedical breakthroughs and
innovation. The Massachusetts Life Science Center (MLSC) is a one-of-a-kind quasi-public
agency that leverages public and private funding to make local investments in research and
development, and manufacturing and commercialization in life sciences. Since creation in 2007,
MLSC has invested more than $747 million into the Massachusetts life sciences ecosystem. This
commitment to life science has helped produce new leaders in the pharmaceutical and
biotechnology industry. It is not a coincidence that all three approved COVID-19 vaccines have
deep connections to Massachusetts. The success of this type of public-private collaboration
embodies the promise of ARPA-H.

Massachusetts has an unrivaled ability to advance the mission of ARPA-H. The new agency
would be able to build upon the rich biomedical research and development ecosystem in the Massachusetts, while bringing new resources and innovators to this system to further the science
of human health.

Massachusetts has an unmatched reputation as an idea factory, a force for positive disruption that
yields revolutionary advancement and is the envy of the world. As the Department of Health and
Human Services and the Biden administration considers a location for ARPA-H, we strongly
encourage you to consider the value and benefits offered by the Commonwealth of