The Washington state Senate is proposing a budget that would close the Life Sciences Discovery Fund by the end of June.
The House’s proposed budget provides $9.5 million annually in 2016 and 2017. A compromise budget bill will be negotiated and delivered to the governor to sign.
The discovery fund has provided grants for promising research in the state, including for blood tests for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, a new drug to treat Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease, next generation artificial joints and a new drug to prevent hearing loss linked to antibiotics.
Some research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has received funding from the grant, including projects developing new ways to treat cancer.
The executive director of the fund says the grants it has awarded since 2007 has avoided $67 million in health-care costs, saved hundreds of lives and attracted $510 million in additional funding to the state.