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$17.8 Million from Department of Defense for Antibiotic Countermeasure Development

October 26, 2010, Volume 57, No. 09


The University of Pennsylvania has been awarded a new five-year contract from the Department of Defense Program, Transformational Medical Technologies (TMT), for the discovery and development of antibiotics against Category A and B biothreat bacterial agents. These are bacteria that pose a risk to national security because they:

Category A

• can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to person;

• result in high mortality rates and have the potential for major public health impact;

• might cause public panic and social disruption; and

• require special action for public health preparedness.

Or Category B

• are moderately easy to disseminate;

• result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates; and

• require specific enhancements of CDC’s diagnostic capacity and enhanced disease surveillance.

The University of Pennsylvania may receive up to $17.8 million in support of development efforts under this new Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) contract. The principal investigator on this contract is Dr. Harvey Rubin, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the director of the Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response (ISTAR). ISTAR is a multidisciplinary institute for research, teaching and policy formulation in strategy and security studies (Almanac October 15, 2002 and December 11, 2007). For more information on ISTAR visit www.istar.upenn.edu.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) was founded in 1998 to integrate and focus the capabilities of the Department of Defense (DoD) that address the threat by weapons of mass destruction (WMD). DTRA’s mission is to safeguard the United States and its allies from chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive WMDs by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate, and counter the threat and mitigate its effects. DTRA combines DoD resources, expertise, and capabilities to ensure the United States remains ready and able to address present and future WMD threats. For more information on DTRA, visit www.dtra.mil.

Transformational Medical Technologies (TMT) was created by the DoD to protect the Warfighter from emerging and genetically engineered biological threats by discovering and developing a wide range of medical countermeasures through enhanced medical research, development, and test and evaluation programs. The TMT Program Office is matrixed from the Joint Science and Technology Office—DTRA and Joint Program Executive Office—Chemical and Biological Defense with oversight from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. For more information on TMT, visit www.tmti-cbdefense.org.
Almanac - October 26, 2010, Volume 57, No. 09