In the wake of President Donald Trump’s $6 billion proposed cut to the National Institutes of Health, biotech executives and researchers are slated to meet with the new administration next month.
A memo about the meeting reportedly describes the get-together as a chance for the “private sector and thought leaders to describe their institution and its connection to federal funding.”
Vice President Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner plan to attend the summit, Bloomberg reported, along with top NIH officials, researchers from universities and hospitals across the U.S., and executives from Celgene and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Regeneron’s chief executive, Len Schleifer, has spoken regularly about the importance of drug pricing reform in the industry – a topic which Trump has seemingly taken an interest in. He once said the industry was “getting away with murder” in regards to what it charges for its products.
Other summit participants include Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price and Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ CEO Jeff Leiden.
Francis Collins, head of the NIH, is also scheduled to attend the meeting. The NIH provides funding to many top research institutions across the country, such as the 321 grants worth $138 million that it has awarded to Stanford University. The university’s president, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, is listed on the meeting’s agenda.
Pharma stocks fell last month after the Trump administration revealed their proposed budget, which would slash more than 18% from the NIH.
The proposal would also introduce “a major reorganization of NIH’s Institutes and Centers to help focus resources on the highest priority research and training activities.”