Aguilar Announces $300,000 Grant for Cancer Treatment Research
Today, Rep. Pete Aguilar announced that Elf Zone, Inc., a Loma Linda based health care start-up, has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant in the amount of $299,999 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The SBIR program allows small businesses to compete for federal funding, and is intended to spur innovation through research and development. The grant money will be used to develop an experimental therapy to treat a rare and deadly form of leukemia which disproportionately affects Hispanic children.
“I’m proud to announce this well-deserved award, which will go toward developing a life-saving and groundbreaking cancer treatment,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “Our community is incredibly lucky to have institutions like Elf Zone and Loma Linda Children’s Hospital who are working hard to find a way to prevent, treat and cure this devastating disease.”
Dr. Kimberly Payne, CEO of Elf Zone, commented, “We’re so grateful for this assistance, which will allow us to hopefully soon offer better treatment for children in our community with leukemia, especially those who are often disproportionally affected and may struggle to get the care they need.”
SBIR grants are extremely competitive, and are administered by 12 federal agencies. In order to receive the award, Elf Zone, Inc. had to demonstrate that it met criteria such as encouraging participation of women in entrepreneurship and assisting federal research and development needs. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Aguilar has been an effective advocate for cancer research funding through his support of funding for the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute. In the 114th Congress, Rep. Aguilar voted in favor of H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act, which provided funding for critical cancer research initiatives, including Vice President Joe Biden’s “Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot” initiative.