Drugmakers receive mysterious invites to White House

Regeneron, Vertex execs heads to White House
Regeneron, Vertex execs heads to White House   

The heads of research at several large drugmakers have received mysterious invitations to the White House for a meeting Friday morning, where more details are expected to be shared on President Barack Obama's plans for the "precision medicine" initiative he mentioned in his State of the Union address.

Vertex, Regeneron and Merck have all received invitations from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, asking for their top researchers to attend the event. Other details weren't shared in the invitation, a copy of which was obtained by CNBC.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for more information.

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The president briefly mentioned the "precision medicine" initiative in his Jan. 20 address, prompting questions about what it will entail and how much funding it could bring to medical research and drug development.

"Tonight, I'm launching a new precision medicine initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes—and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier," Obama said in his address.

"21st century businesses will rely on American science, technology, research and development," he said. "I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine—one that delivers the right treatment at the right time. In some patients with cystic fibrosis, this approach has reversed a disease once thought unstoppable."