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VP Biden Holds Summit – Announces Pazdur as Acting Director of New FDA Oncology Center of Excellence

VP Biden Holds Summit – Announces Pazdur as Acting Director of New FDA Oncology Center of Excellence

Washington, DC, June 29, 2016 –  Today, Vice President Biden is hosting the first National Cancer Moonshot Summit at Howard University. The event convenes hundreds of leaders across the health, academic, private industry, and philanthropic sectors to join together with patients, survivors, and advocates. The goal of the summit is to increase efforts and double the rate of progress that has been made toward eradicating cancer. Friends of Cancer Research’s (Friends) chair and founder, Dr. Ellen Sigal, was appointed to the Moonshot’s Blue Ribbon Panel in order to provide insight and guidance to the initiative.

The Vice President has called for the FDA to break down silos within the agency  and find innovative ways to streamline the development of new cancer treatments. In today’s world, treating cancer has not only become increasingly complex but requires multidisciplinary care, and the White House’s science-based approach will ensure that regulation of these cutting-edge technologies is reflected properly.

During the last several months, Friends of Cancer Research analyzed the current regulatory environment and examined opportunities for potential improvement in the review process of new cancer treatments. As part of the Moonshot initiative, Friends put forth a proposal to the Vice President to establish a “Center of Excellence” at FDA. Further details will be released during today’s summit on the White House and FDA’s work to quickly create an FDA Oncology Center of Excellence.

This morning, the Vice President will announce that the acting director of the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence will be Dr. Richard Pazdur, who currently heads the FDA’s Office of Oncology and Hematology Products and who is consistently hailed as one of the most important and influential leaders in the field of oncology.

“An FDA Oncology Center of Excellence is a necessary step not only to streamline processes, but to further innovation and collaboration toward curing cancer,” Dr. Sigal said. “There is not a more dedicated public servant and experienced leader in our field than Dr. Pazdur – he is the perfect pick to lead the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence.”

Friends recently spearheaded a letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Califf advocating for the creation of the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence, providing detailed recommendations as to how this program might be carried out to most benefit patients. To view the letter visit:

For more information on the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence and previews of the summit, please visit:

About Friends of Cancer Research
Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) drives collaboration among partners from every healthcare sector to power advances in science, policy and regulation that speed life-saving treatments to patients. For more information, please visit