HHS creates biomedical advanced research and development authority

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HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced the establishment of the office that will manage the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). The office will reside under the HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response.

The BARDA office will manage Project BioShield, which includes the procurement and development of medical countermeasures for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear agents, as well as manage the advanced development and procurement of medical countermeasures for pandemic influenza and other emerging infectious diseases that fall outside the auspices of Project BioShield.

"The creation of BARDA enhances the opportunity for innovation in our efforts to develop effective medical countermeasures against a host of public health threats, either natural or manmade," Secretary Leavitt said. "I am pleased that congress recognized the importance of advanced development in the establishment of BARDA, and the President's FY 2008 budget request of $189 million for this purpose will help further the department's efforts to bridge the gap between the National Institutes of Health's research and development programs and Project BioShield."