Friday, October 1, 2010

Fast Forward Represents the Society at Capitol Hill Hearing

Dr. Timothy Coetzee, President of Fast Forward LLC, testified at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing this week entitled, “From Molecules to Minds: The Future of Neuroscience Research and Development.” Fast Forward, founded by the National MS Society, focuses on expediting the drug development process, bridging the gap between promising discoveries and the commercial expertise and funding to move them forward. The hearing held by the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Domestic Policy addressed the current state of neuroscience research, including efforts to expand knowledge and treatments to help individuals afflicted with neurologic and mental health disorders, including veterans and military personnel. It also assessed collaborations between and among relevant entities, including federal government agencies, private foundations, industry, and academia.

In his testimony, Dr. Coetzee discussed the challenges to MS drug discovery and the need for even better and more cost-effective therapies. Among his recommendations, Dr. Coetzee stressed the need for: a large and vibrant medical research community in the United States; an environment conducive to formation of fluid networks of scientists engaged in translational research; and close collaboration between government, private foundations, and patient advocates so that influence and financial resources are maximized to connect innovators across sectors. To read Dr. Coetzee's full testimony, click here.