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June 10, 2014

Rep. Schweikert Applauds GAIN Act Inclusion of Valley Fever

Washington D.C., June 10, 2014—Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), co-chair of the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force, released a statement following this week’s announcement of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) inclusion of Coccidioides in the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) Act.

“It is incredibly exciting to see that the voices of so many scientists, doctors, advocates and the Valley Fever task force were heard by the FDA," said Schweikert. “I believe the designation of Valley Fever as an orphan disease and including it in the GAIN Act’s list of pathogens will prove incredibly life altering for those who deal with the drastic affects of Valley Fever.”

“I look forward to seeing the development of this research and the lives these advancements can help.”

Congressman David Schweikert represents Arizona’s 6th District, a section of Maricopa County, included in an area heavily affected by Valley Fever. He is co-chair of the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force, a House panel whose goal is to help educate the public and encourage research and development for a vaccine and cure. 


"Coccidioides species are pathogenic fungi that are endemic to certain regions of southwestern United States (i.e.., certain areas of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Nevada) and other regions of the Western Hemisphere. The pathogen is responsible for causing coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley Fever, with C. immitis and C.posadasii as the causative agents. Coccidioides species is acquired via respiratory inhalation of spores."

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) will include Coccidioides species on the list of qualifying pathogens for the GAIN Act. GAIN exists to encourage development of new antibacterial and antifungal drugs for the treatment of serious or life-threatening infections, and provides incentives such as eligibility for designation as a fast-track product and an additional 5 years of exclusivity to be added to certain exclusivity periods.”

More information about the inclusion of Valley Fever in the GAIN Act can be found here.

CONTACT: Maggie Zehring · (202) 680-9613 ·

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