War on Terrorism

Friday, October 03, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- October 3, 2008

Crucell [a company] receives NIAID[National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases] /NIH [National Institutes of Health] contract for development of Ebola and Marburg vaccines
"Dutch biopharma company Crucell N.V. […] today announced that it received a National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) contract aimed at advancing the development of a multivalent filovirus vaccine that includes both Ebola and Marburg viruses. The contract provides funding of up to $30 million, with additional options that may be triggered at the discretion of the NIH worth a further $40 million. […] Crucell will be the primary contractor with additional services being supplied by the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, located in
San Antonio, Texas and Quintiles Guys Drug Research Unit, located in London." (Red Orbit; 03Oct08) http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1576640/crucell_receives_niaidnih_contract_for_development_of_ebola_and_marburg/

If bioterrorists strike, letter carriers might deliver antibiotics
"[…] Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt yesterday proposed a solution to one of the bigger challenges in responding to an anthrax bioterrorism attack -- how to deliver protective antibiotics to tens of thousands of people overnight. The tentative answer: have the mailman (and -woman) do the job. As an incentive to the letter carriers -- who would be volunteers -- the government would issue them in advance an antibiotic supply large enough to treat themselves and their families. They would also be accompanied by
police officers on their rounds[…] The strategy has the full support of the Postal Service and its unions, spokesmen said."
(WashingtonPost.com; 02Oct08; David Brown) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/01/AR2008100102929_pf.html

Rethinking who should be considered 'essential' during a pandemic flu outbreak

"Not only are doctors, nurses, and
firefighter essential during a severe pandemic influenza outbreak. So, too, are truck drivers, communications personnel, and utility workers. That's the conclusion of a Johns Hopkins University article to be published in the journal of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. The report, led by Nancy Kass, Sc.D, Deputy Director of Public Health for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, provides ethical guidance for pandemic planning that ensures a skeletal infrastructure remain intact at all times. Dr. Kass says, ‘when preparing for a severe pandemic flu it is crucial for leaders to recognize that if the public has limited or no access to food, water, sewage systems, fuel and communications, the secondary consequences may cause greater sickness, death and social breakdown than the virus itself.’" (Phys Org; 02Oct08;
Source: Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics) http://www.physorg.com/news142173611.html

U.S. Government to purchase additional 14.5 million doses of BioThrax under new contract valued at up to $404 Million
"Emergent BioSolutions Inc. […] announced today that it has signed a new, multi-year, firm fixed price contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to supply an additional 14.5 million doses of BioThrax […], its FDA licensed anthrax vaccine, for inclusion in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The total value of this follow-on contract is between $364 million and $404 million, with the higher amount tied to the delivery of product having four-year expiry dating." (Pharma Live; 01Oct08) http://www.pharmalive.com/News/index.cfm?articleid=574152&categoryid=10

Indian co. Panacea enters into alliance with US-based Pharmathene
"Indian vaccine manufacturer Panacea Biotec on Wednesday said it has entered into a strategic alliance with US-based PharmAthene and will invest US$13.1 million dollars in it. The transaction is expected to close by October 20, 2008, it added. […] PharmAthene is a biodefense company engaged in developing medical products against biological and chemical weapons. Panacea Biotec is the second largest vaccine manufacturer in India."(TradingMarkets; 02Oct08) http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1915610/

3 due in court charged with publisher attack plot
"Three men charged with plotting to attack the publisher of a novel about the wife of the Prophet Muhammad are due in court in London. Ali Beheshti, Abrar Mirza and Abbas Taj were charged late Thursday with plotting to damage the offices of Gordon Square publishers. Beheshti was also charged with possession of a weapon designed or adapted for the discharge of a noxious liquid or gas. The three men were arrested early Sept. 27 under anti-
Terrorism laws, but were not charged with any terrorist offenses."
(Associated Press; 03Oct08)

Study: weapons waste can be safely moved [
"Waste left over from chemical weapons disposal at the Blue Grass Army Depot is safe to ship off-site, according to a study released Monday from the National Research Council (NRC) committee. The experience to date with the off-site shipment and treatment of mustard and nerve agent hydrolysates from (other chemical weapons disposal sites) indicates that off-site transportation and disposal of these materials is a safe and technically viable course of action, the report states." (The Richmond Register; 01Oct08; Ronica Shannon) http://www.richmondregister.com/localnews/local_story_276075441.html

Russia: Chemical weapons disposal site to be launched in March 2009
"A regional commission for scrapping chemical weapons in Kirov Region has examined the readiness of the Maradykovskiy chemical weapons disposal site to launch its second phase in March 2009, the press centre of the regional government said on 30 September. The second stage facilities are equipped to scrap ammunition filled with the toxic substances sarin and soman. The remaining ammunition filled with VX gas is being scrapped at Maradykovskiy, the press centre said. At the same time, equipment is being assembled at all facilities that will be used to scrap sarin and soman. Testing and commissioning work will begin on 1 December 2008 and will be completed by March 2009." (RedOrbit; 01Oct08; Source: Interfax) http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1574176/russia_chemical_weapons_disposal_site_to_be_launched_in_march/#

$12 million approved for US 25 road work [
"Congress has approved $12 million for the widening of [highway] US 25 from the EKU (Eastern
Kentucky University) Bypass to the KY 421 split, also known as the ‘Defense Access Road,’ by those associated with the chemical weapons destruction project at the Blue Grass Army Depot. […] The completed project for US 25 is estimated to cost about $28.5 million." (Richmond Register; 02Oct08; Ronica Shannon) http://www.richmondregister.com/localnews/local_story_276075334.html

Mobile, networked radiation detectors help the law find dirty bombs
"What do you get when you cross California nuclear chemists with
New Jersey policemen? A mobile, and wirelessly networked, radiation detector jammed into the trunk of a Chevy Suburban called the RadTruck. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and their business partners, Textron Defense Systems, demoed the $250,000 trucks yesterday to reporters and revealed they'd been patrolling the streets and sensitive infrastructure of Jersey for the past year. RadTrucks are able to identify radioactive sources as small as a grain of sand within a dozen feet of its side-mounted detectors while traveling at 45 miles per hour, which makes it particularly useful for monitoring highways." (Wired; 02Oct08; Alexis Madrigal)

Optical material could enable universal laser
"A new optical fiber material could enable laser-based devices to be built operating at multiple frequencies. The new material--cesium zirconium phosphorus selenium (CsZrPSe6)--can add, subtract and double laser beam wavelengths, enabling devices with two laser sources to produce many usable wavelengths. […] Argonne researchers claim the new
technology could be used in sensors that detect biological and chemical weapons." (EE Times; 02Oct08; R. Colin Johnson)

Terrorism News is prepared by the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in order to bring timely and focused information to researchers and policymakers interested in the fields of chemical, biological, and radiological weapons nonproliferation and WMD Terrorism.

No comments: