Notice Announcing the Removal of the Funding Pause for Gain-of-Function Research Projects

This brief notice announced to researchers and the public that the funding moratorium on gain-of-function research instituted in 2014 would be lifted. This announcement came after the U.S. Government conducted a risk/benefit analysis on such research. Based on this analysis, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) established a new framework for the review of dual-use gain-of-function research with potential pandemic pathogens (PPPs). In effect, the U.S.

US suspends risky disease research

Science writer Sara Reardon discusses the announcement from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) that it would be instituting a forced moratorium on gain-of-function research on influenza, SARS, and MERS viruses. Reardon notes the mixed reception within the scientific community, with some praising the decision as an opportunity for deliberation of the research’s risks and others characterizing the decision as an overreaction.

U.S. Government Gain-of-Function Deliberative Process and Research Funding Pause on Selected Gain-of-Function Research Involving Influenza, MERS, and SARS Viruses - October 17, 2014

In 2014, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) made the decision to pause funding on certain types of gain-of-function research. Gain-of-function research alters pathogenic organisms to test the ability of pathogens to acquire additional virulence. OSTP decided that the biosafety and biosecurity risks of such experiments were too great and decided to impose a moratorium on new federal funding for such research focused on pathogens with high pandemic potential: influenza, MERS, and SARS viruses.