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U.S. Opens Bioshield Office

U.S. Opens Bioshield Office

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department has established an office to manage Project Bioshield, the troubled multibillion-dollar program intended to spur development of WMD countermeasures, according to a press release issued yesterday (see GSN, Dec. 20, 2006).

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority office operates under the agency’s assistant secretary for preparedness and response.

“The creation of BARDA enhances the opportunity for innovation in our efforts to develop effective medical countermeasures against a host of public health threats, either natural or man-made,” HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt said in the release.

The White House requested $189 million in its fiscal 2008 budget “to help further the department’s efforts to bridge the gap between the National Institutes of Health’s research and development programs and Project Bioshield,” Leavitt said.

The department is presently looking for a BARDA director (U.S. Health and Human Services Department release, April 26).