National Center for Biodefense Program Encourages Industry/Government Partnerships

Posted: June 20, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Patty Snellings

In a collaborative effort to promote international business opportunities, George Mason’s National Center for Biodefense (NCBD) teams with Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, and the Virginia Israel Advisory Board to present “Accelerating Solutions to Biodefense” on Sunday, June 22, at CIT offices in Herndon. The forum brings together biodefense experts, biotechnology industry professionals, and government officials to discuss processes to expedite practical responses to the biological weapons threat.

“This is a unique opportunity to learn about professional collaboration and business development responses to the imminent biological threat,” says Ken Alibek, the center’s executive director for education. He explains that global biodefense needs continue to go unmet because of limited understanding of the nature of biological weapons and the technology involved in countering the threat.

The program is designed for domestic and international biotechnology companies interested in the development of vaccines and antibacterial and antiviral drugs, as well as the manufacture of protective products and detection technology related to biological defense. In addition, government officials will explore research funding methodology and options to seek solutions to current obstacles.

President Alan Merten offers welcoming remarks, and Robert Kadlec, health and bioterrorism director for the White House Homeland Security Council, delivers the keynote address–“What the U.S. Is Doing About Bioterrorism: Solutions and Funding.” U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-N.J.) chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats, and Capabilities, addresses the participants via video.

A panel discussion, “Breaking Down Old Barriers to Accelerate New Approaches,” looks at ways to streamline research development as biological threats loom immediate. Alibek and Kadlec are joined by Charles Bailey, NCBD’s executive director for science, Manfred Green, director of the Israel Center for Disease Control, and representatives from the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health.

George Mason, along with CIT, Veridian Corp., and Fenwick & West LLP, sponsor the event. More than 40 organizations are registered to attend, including Battelle Memorial Institute, American Management Systems, the Institute for Pharmaceutical Development, the National Cancer Institute, and government representatives from Singapore and Israel.

For more information, contact Mary Margaret Flannery at (703) 993-4263 or flannery@gmu.edu.

Write to at