U.S. Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and John Katko (R-NY) introduced a bill to enhance the nation’s readiness to prepare for and respond to public safety and national security threats – including pandemics.
Their bill -- the Analyzing Disaster Vulnerabilities and Applicable National... Read More »
In the United States, more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur annually, killing some 35,000 people, yet scant financial incentives exist to develop drugs that could treat many of these infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In response,... Read More »
The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has awarded $14.4 million to states, universities, and other partners with projects addressing livestock biosecurity.
The funding allotment would aid 76 projects seeking to strengthen animal health... Read More »
In tests conducted on mice, the ricin toxin vaccine RiVax -- developed by Soligenix, Inc. -- provided at least a full year’s worth of protection against the deadly agent.
Ricin is a lethal plant-derived toxin feared for its potential use as a bioterrorism and chemical warfare agent. Highly... Read More »
Valneva SE, a biotech company headquartered in France, on Wednesday announced plans to accelerate the pediatric development of its Lyme disease vaccine candidate, VLA15, which is being co-developed with Pfizer Inc.
“We are pleased that Pfizer and Valneva have decided to accelerate this... Read More »
Public trust must be maintained in preparing for and responding to another large-scale biological event like the ongoing novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a former Trump administration emergency management expert told the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense on Monday.
Tom Bossert,... Read More »
Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest global public health concerns and is projected to be so for the next three decades. In the United States alone, 2.8 million people contract an antibiotic-resistant infection, killing more than 35,000 people each year.
Approximately 15 percent of... Read More »
Pennsylvania state officials are encouraging the poultry industry to expedite biosecurity practices in the wake of East Asia and Europe reporting Highly-Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) cases.
"Written biosecurity plans are good, but they are only effective when deliberately acted upon day in... Read More »
While Germany, South Korea, and Taiwan implemented aggressive testing strategies and infrastructure during the early spread of SARS-CoV-2, the United States failed to develop and distribute reliable diagnostic tests when the pandemic initially hit the country, according to a new report.
This... Read More »
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded ReVector program Phase 1 contracts to Stanford University and Ginkgo Bioworks to initiate microbiome modification initiatives in order to reduce mosquito-transmitted diseases.
DARPA maintains mosquitos are of concern to the... Read More »
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) began this month soliciting support for repurposing therapeutics into medical countermeasures against chemical threats.
The organization is now accepting abstract submissions for potential funding through its Division of... Read More »
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) SIGMA+ program conducted a test of advanced chemical and biological sensing systems in the Indianapolis area this past August.
DARPA collected more than 250 hours of daily life background atmospheric data in the city that helped train... Read More »
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) awarded contracts this week to ICON Government & Public Health Solutions, Pharm-Olam LLC, PRA Health Sciences, Inc., and Technical Resources International, Inc. for the development of various medical countermeasures.
Granted... Read More »
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged individual and cooperative efforts by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. State Department to counter biological threats around the world, prompting lawmakers to reevaluate the dangers that infectious disease outbreaks pose to U.S. national... Read More »
A new report from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) says some gaps need to be addressed in the international system to prevent and respond to biological events.
NTI is calling on national and global leaders to take action now to prevent future biological events that could match or exceed the... Read More »
Three lawmakers recently forwarded correspondence to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) requesting insight regarding efforts to address foreign biomedical research influence.
Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Rep. Greg Walden... Read More »
The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) convened a meeting of more than 40 experts worldwide to address the need for better oversight of biotechnology research.
Biotechnology research is essential for reducing pandemic threats and supporting global health. However, scientific advances in the life... Read More »
Amid fears of political pressures to rush a vaccine for COVID-19, nine CEOs of biopharmaceutical companies working on these candidates have signed a pledge to uphold the scientific process and safety in any development.
The companies include AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Johnson &... Read More »
A new facility -- the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility -- meant to house top-of-the-line labs for research into foreign animal diseases will soon transfer from the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), but outstanding issues could... Read More »
The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved an amendment increasing Lyme disease research funding to a total of $20 million at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for fiscal year 2021.
The amendment, authored by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), boosts Lyme disease research... Read More »
Recognizing the threat of both natural and terrorist-directed anthrax, the U.S. Coast Guard recently undertook its first decontamination field test to determine the best method of decontaminating facilities and vessels exposed to the deadly disease.
This was facilitated by the Analysis for... Read More »
The Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are working together to share health data as well as research and expertise to aid in the fight against COVID-19.
The initiative between these three government agencies is... Read More »
The investment to prevent the spread of infectious disease are well worth it compared to the costs associated with these outbreaks, a new analysis by published in Science by the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance proclaims.
While zoonotic disease outbreaks like the one that caused the COVID-19... Read More »
The United States was just as dangerously unprepared to combat a coronavirus pandemic in 2020 as it was back in 2015, former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman noted in the opening remarks of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense’s virtual meeting on Tuesday, setting the tone for a critical examination of... Read More »
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is calling on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and implement a COVID-19 wastewater surveillance program.
Testing wastewater has been proven as a successful method to detect viruses and... Read More »
Legislators are not waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to subside to suggest ways to combat future health emergencies.
In his recently released white paper “Preparing for the Next Pandemic,” U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) outlines five recommendations Congress can act on in the next six... Read More »
The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), which is tasked with supplementing state and local supplies of antibiotics, vaccines and other critical drugs and medical products, woefully needs a revamp to help the nation better prepare and respond to public health emergencies like the current COVID-19... Read More »
Emergent BioSolutions revealed this week plans to expand its viral vector and gene therapy capabilities.
The company announced it will invest $75 million in its Canton, Mass., facility, which is focused on the contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) of drug substances for live viral... Read More »
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is working to develop new treatments to combat microbial infections.
Through its Harnessing Enzymatic Activity for Lifesaving Remedies (HEALR) program, DARPA seeks to use new tools and strategies to treat microbial infections. Specifically,... Read More »
The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense supports efforts by Congress to improve the country’s biodefense following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This will not be the last biological crisis this nation faces,” commission members wrote to Congressional leaders. “In addition to the potential... Read More »
The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) is creating a process to identify potential chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) threats from non-state actors.
The project, called Advancing U.S. CWMD/CWMT Capabilities in Support of the... Read More »
The Council of Europe Committee on Counter-Terrorism (CDCT) issued a statement on the importance of a coordinated response to bioterrorism.
The committee said that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of modern societies to viral infections. The intentional use of a pathogen or... Read More »
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report detailing the process of developing a COVID-19 vaccine.
The United States government is funding multiple efforts to develop vaccines. GAO said it is an expensive, lengthy process that involves a series of steps first to identify... Read More »
U.S. Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Jason Crow (D-CO) introduced a bill on May 22 that would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to clarify the national biodefense strategy and implementation plan.
The bill, called the RASPP Act (H.B. 6966), follows a Government Accountability... Read More »
Members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a teleconference forum former director of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to improve its readiness for events like COVID-19 pandemic.
The Strategic National Stockpile is a federal resource designed to supplement state and local... Read More »