In the next several months, the U.S. Government will decide whether to continue the funding and authorities associated with Project BioShield, which expanded the U.S. stockpile of medical countermeasures (MCMs) for potential chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) attacks.
Congress established Project BioShield in 2004 and provided $5.68B for procurement over 10 years. Two years later, it created the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to oversee BioShield’s advanced development and procurement efforts. To date, BioShield has spurred the development of, and procured, more than 50 million doses of vaccines and drugs against several CBRN threat agents. Approximately 80 candidate CBRN products are in the BARDA advanced development pipeline, including broad-spectrum antimicrobials, rapid diagnostics, and next-generation products.
BioShield’s investments have also yielded substantial ancillary benefits. A growing consortium of approximately 47 companies are involved in biodefense related research and development. Investments have led to innovation in vaccine development, diagnostics and medical devices that will help solve both preparedness and public health problems.
Less tangible, but potentially more significant, is the public-private partnership that BioShield created by promoting and fostering a CBRN MCM industry that simply did not exist before. Renewing Project BioShield funding and authorities would enable continued research, development and procurement of additional countermeasures, which could prove vital if the U.S. were ever attacked with CBRN weapons.
To learn more about BioShield achievements and the need for continued support and funding, please access the full report here.