On February 2, 2022, President Biden announced the renewal of the Cancer Moonshot initiative as part of the nation’s agenda to “end cancer as we know it.” President Biden initially led the Cancer Moonshot initiative as Vice President in 2016 to accelerate the rate of progress against cancer. The renewed initiative focuses on a national goal of working together to cut the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years and improve the experiences of people and their families living with and surviving cancer.
In support of the White House Cancer Moonshot initiative, the USPTO launched the Cancer Moonshot Expedited Examination Pilot Program, which provides a fast-track review for qualifying patent applications without the need for an applicant to pay an additional fee or to meet all the requirements of the accelerated examination program. This new pilot program expanded and replaced the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program, also known as Patents 4 Patients, on February 1, 2023. The previous pilot program expedited examination only for eligible patent applications pertaining to methods of treating a cancer using immunotherapy. The new pilot program broadens the scope of qualifying technologies to include methods of treating or reducing the incidence of a cancer using immunotherapy, certain additional methods of treating or detecting a cancer, certain methods of treating nicotine dependence to promote smoking cessation, and certain products and apparatuses used in these methods. For more information about the Cancer Moonshot Expedited Examination Pilot Program, please refer to the Federal Register Notice.
To support the original National Cancer Moonshot initiative launched in 2016, the USPTO established a number of initiatives in addition to the Patent 4 Patients program, including the National Cancer Moonshot Challenge, in which participants had the opportunity to leverage USPTO Cancer Moonshot patent data to reveal new insights into investments around cancer therapy research and treatments. In July of 2022, the White House recognized the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program's role in supporting the White House Cancer Moonshot initiative by providing earlier review of eligible applications pertaining to high-priority innovations in cancer treatment. The new Cancer Moonshot Expedited Examination Pilot Program will continue to support the renewed national initiative.