As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues working to address the current pandemic, they are also looking ahead to prepare for the next potential public health emergency. A recent executive order directed the agency, in consultation with federal partners, to identify a list of essential medicines, medical countermeasures, and critical inputs that are medically necessary to have available at all times in an amount adequate to serve patient needs and in the appropriate dosage forms.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) SIGMA+ program conducted a week-long deployment of advanced chemical and biological sensing systems in the Indianapolis metropolitan region in August 2020, collecting more than 250 hours of daily life background atmospheric data across five neighborhoods that helped train algorithms to more accurately detect chemical and biological threats. The testing marked the first time in the program the advanced laboratory grade instruments for chemical and biological sensing were successfully deployed as mobile sensors, increasing their versatility on the SIGMA+ network.
Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Medical Countermeasures Clinical Studies Network (CSN) contract awards. The Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006 established the support development and acquisition of medical countermeasures (MCMs) to prevent or treat the medical consequences of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases. These MCMs include vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and medical devices.
Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the rescission of and replacement for the 2016 Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting (Handbook). The Department determined that “much of the guidance provided was outside of the scope of the relevant statutory and regulatory authority.” The announcement also provided an overview of a new Clery-related Appendix of the Federal Student Aid Handbook.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Inmazeb (atoltivimab, maftivimab, and odesivimab-ebgn), a mixture of three monoclonal antibodies, as the first FDA-approved treatment for Zaire ebolavirus (Ebola virus) infection in adult and pediatric patients.
Michael Breslin, strategic client relations director for federal law enforcement at LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Advisor to Preparedness Leadership Council has been selected to serve on the newly established cyber investigations advisory board of the U.S. Secret Service.
FLIR Systems Inc. announced it has been awarded a $26 million contract modification in support of the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle Sensor Suite Upgrade (NBCRV SSU) program for the U.S. Army. FLIR is the lead integrator in modernizing the Army’s NBCRV system with improved and autonomous chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) sensors.
Under an agreement between the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and Vaxxas, the company will undertake Phase 1 clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an easy-to-use, high-density micro-array patch (HD-MAP) and other development activities for the patch. Micro-array patch technology has the potential to reduce the amount of vaccine required, which would help healthcare professionals provide vaccine to more people, an important consideration in a public health emergency.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP) has recognized a Department of the Interior (DOI) laboratory to perform independent third-party assessments of first responder equipment, enabling them to expand interoperable communications capabilities and coverage. Through this open-standards testing process, P25 CAP provides responders with confidence that the communications equipment they use will be interoperable, regardless of the manufacturer.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, alongside 4 bipartisan U.S. senators and 3 former federal government public health officials, have launched a new educational initiative: The Capitol Hill Steering Committee on Pandemic Preparedness & Health Security. The Committee is a nonpartisan “off-the-Hill” group that convenes educational policy briefings and technology demonstrations for Capitol Hill offices, federal agencies, and the invited public focused on strengthening U.S. health security.