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Learn more about the authorizing language for NCATS and the Cures Acceleration Network.

About Authorization

NCATS was created on Dec. 23, 2011, by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, (P.L. 112-74), which amended the Public Health Service (PHS) Act by including authorization language for NCATS. The 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255), which became law on Dec. 13, 2016, subsequently modified NCATS' authorization language.

The current PHS Act authorization language for NCATS (PDF - 133KB) includes the purpose of NCATS, the phases of clinical trials that may be supported, the NCATS biennial report, and the previously existing NIH programs that were moved to NCATS, such as the Cures Acceleration Network. 

Cures Acceleration Network (CAN)

CAN was established within NIH on March 23, 2010, by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), but it was not appropriated any funds. Several stakeholders wrote a letter to Congress (PDF - 35KB) on May 14, 2010, asking Congress to provide funding for CAN.

On Dec. 23, 2011, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, appropriated $10 million for CAN and moved CAN to NCATS.  

The purpose of CAN is to award grants and contracts to eligible entities to accelerate the development of high-need cures, including through the development of medical products and behavioral therapies.

Congressional Committees

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pension oversee NIH, including NCATS. They may hold hearings or introduce legislation affecting NIH.