Sen. Casey Announces the Advancing Hope Act of 2015 at CHOP Supporting rare disease research are (from left): Peter Adamson, MD, of the Children’s Oncology Group; U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA); and Joseph St. Geme III, MD, of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. On Aug. 3, 2015, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) came to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to announce the introduction of the Advancing Hope Act of 2015. The act would extend and strengthen the current FDA pediatric rare disease priority review voucher program.

Sen. Casey was joined by Peter Adamson, MD, chairman of the Children’s Oncology Group, and Joseph St. Geme III, MD, CHOP’s chairman of the Division of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief.

The law, which incentivizes drug companies to research and develop treatments for rare, life-altering diseases that impact children, currently is set to expire in March 2016. This bill would expand the law to include even more diseases, including all pediatric cancers and sickle cell disease, and remove the sunset provision, which will allow the program to continue indefinitely, among other provisions.

CHOP is proud to support legislation that aims to more quickly bring new drugs and products to market for rare pediatric diseases and welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with other partners to do so.