Bioterror/Biowar

Kansas climbs to No. 5 in biotech strength

Josh Heck, Wichita Business Journal, July 26, 2010 Kansas ranks No. 5 nationally in biotechnology strength, according to an annual rankings report released Monday by Business Facilities magazine. The magazine says Kansas moved up in the rankings, from ninth in 2009, through significant investments in biotechnology. The state has a $581 million biotech investment fund. Business Facilities’ list examines more than two dozen criteria, including an assessment of state-funded research and development programs, interaction with institutions of higher education and major projects announced within the past year.

National Lab ready to start its mission in earnest

Laura Elder, Galveston County Daily News, July 25, 2010 Galveston - Since its dedication nearly 20 months ago, about 3,000 people have toured the Galveston National Laboratory where researchers will work to develop vaccines, drugs and diagnostic methods to combat infectious diseases - both those occurring naturally and types spread by terrorists. Inside the 186,267-square-foot, $174 million laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch, officials led school groups, island residents, dignitaries and the curious on carefully guided tours. Visitors got an idea about what would go on when researchers donned “space suits” to study such deadly pathogens as Anthrax, bubonic plague ... National

Bio-shield

John Feehery, The Hill, July 23, 2010 In 2004, in the wake of anthrax attacks in New York and in Washington, the Congress passed and the president signed into law legislation that was purported to protect the American people from a biological attack. The law created a special reserve fund dedicated to developing medical “countermeasures” to treat symptoms that came from any biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear weapons that might be used by our enemies. ... Bio-shield

An alternative use

Safety Net group gives recommendations on Biolab; BU is hopeful they don’t need them. Kate Vander Wiede, South End News, July 22, 2010 The Haley House was packed full of attendees as Boston residents vied for a seat in the cramped café and waited for the agenda to start. It was July 19, 6 PM, and the Roxbury Safety Net & STOP the BU Bio-Terror Lab Coalition (Safety Net) meeting was about to begin. Run by Roxbury resident Klare Allen and with the support of former 9th Suffolk state representative, Boston’s first African American mayoral candidate and community activist Mel King, the Safety Net began back in 2000, when Roxbury residents joined together ... An

An Alternative Vision for the Boston University National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory

Stop the Biolab Coalition, July 19, 2010

Executive Summary

Marginal value of Boston University’s present focus

The Struggle Against the Boston University BSL4 Biolab

Funding for bioterror contracts targeted during budget fight

GW Schulz, Center for Investigative Reporting, July 19, 2010 Another multibillion-dollar program developed during the Bush administration to help fight the war on terror is being seriously dialed back as critics in Washington raise questions about its effectiveness in readying the country for potential biological assaults. Representative David Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin and chair of the House Appropriations Committee, wanted to curtail the possibility of massive teacher layoffs and he did so by pulling $2 billion out of reserves set up to finance pandemic flu preparedness and bioterrorism research. ... Funding

Baltimore facility key to Emergent's plan to expand beyond biodefense

Steven Overly, Washington Post, July 19, 2010 Rockville-based Emergent BioSolutions is planning to make major renovations to a 55,000-square-foot facility in Baltimore that the pharmaceutical company said is key to its plans to expand beyond the biodefense sector. Known as the producer of the only FDA-approved anthrax vaccine, Emergent executives said the company aims to remain competitive by expanding the number and variety of drugs it has on the market. "We're well positioned to maintain our leadership" in anthrax vaccination, said Kyle Keese, senior vice president for manufacturing operations. ... Baltimore

Bioshield Cuts Leave Money for Countermeasures, Report Asserts

Global Security Newswire, July 14, 2010 The US Congressional Research Service determined in a new report that a legislative push to reallocate biodefense funds for other uses would leave sufficient money to finance development of biological-weapon countermeasures in coming years, Congressional Quarterly reported yesterday. If the Health and Human Services Department continued Project Bioshield Special Reserve Fund expenditures at the current rate, the agency would not deplete the account before losing program authorization in fiscal 2013, according to the assessment. ... Bioshield

Bioterror program faces criticism, cuts

Julian Pecquet, The Hill, July 14, 2010 The future of a federal government program to protect the US against bioterrorism is in doubt, even as the first million doses of a smallpox vaccine developed under it have been delivered. The House-passed war supplemental bill cuts $2 billion from Project BioShield, and the Obama administration has questioned the program’s effectiveness in spurring the private sector to develop new drugs and vaccines that protect against biological, chemical and radiological weapons. ... Bioterror

Cutting bioterrorism funds a 'self-inflicted wound,' Obama is told

Former Senators Bob Graham and Jim Talent write a letter objecting to Congress' plan to remove $2 billion from a reserve fund. The administration questions the fund's effectiveness. Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2010 Washington - A move in Congress to cut up to $2 billion from bioterrorism prevention "will drive a stake through the heart of America's fledgling biodefense efforts," former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) told President Obama in a letter released Tuesday. "It will require your intervention to avoid a self-inflicted wound to America's national security," Graham said in the letter written with former Senator Jim Talent (R-MO). ... Cutting

Former Senators Criticize Possible Cut to Bioshield Funds

Martin Matishak, Global Security Newswire, July 13, 2010 Washington - Leading bioterrorism experts yesterday criticized the Obama administration's apparent willingness to support a measure that could strip $2 billion from the coffers of programs to develop WMD countermeasures and fight pandemic flu. The proposed transfers of funding from the biodefense and flu accounts are included in a House appropriations bill passed July 1. The measure could shift money away from the Project Bioshield Special Reserve Fund. Those dollars would instead go toward preventing teacher layoffs, the Los Angeles Times reported today. ... Former

White House Aims to Boost US Biosecurity

Martin Matishak, Global Security Newswire, July 6, 2010 Washington - The Obama administration on Friday issued an executive order that would rank the government's directory of disease agents based on their threat to public health and increase physical security and personnel screening at US biological research facilities (see GSN, July 2). "Research on such so-called Biological Select Agents and Toxins ... is critical for the development and availability of public health and medical tools that are needed to detect, diagnose, recognize, and respond to outbreaks of infectious disease of both natural and deliberate origin," the White House said in a fact sheet. ... White

BMC fined for waste disposal

Patrick G. Lee, Boston Globe, July 15, 2010 The state Department of Environmental Protection fined Boston Medical Center nearly $39,000 for improperly sending hazardous medical waste to a disposal facility in Roxbury not licensed to handle such infectious waste. Joe Ferson, a spokesman for the department, said yesterday that the incident last year was an isolated case that occurred because the hospital’s autoclave, which sterilizes medical waste before it is shredded, was broken. ... BMC

Town pulls biolab rules to regroup

Michele Morgan Bolton, Boston Globe, May 9, 2010 Two contentious warrant articles aimed at creating zoning regulations for biotechnology - and allowing Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics to begin using more dangerous substances in tests - were unexpectedly yanked from Town Meeting last week after months of heated debate. The cause, officials said, was an 11th-hour change in the language of one of the initiatives, introduced by the Finance Committee, that would have effectively banned that scientific industry from operating anywhere over the town’s aquifer. That includes about three-quarters of the town ... Town

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