Biodefense industry leaders meet to discuss changes to BioShield

Representatives from four government agencies, 15 CEO's from the nation's leading biodefense and infectious disease companies and a leading biodefense investment banking firm have met to discuss how to best facilitate the development and approval of products in the biodefense sector following the decision to remove funds from the BioShield Special Reserve Fund.

The CEOS and representatives from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases met during the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.

The meeting, organized by FreeMind Group, which specializes in aiding companies and academics institutions in life sciences with raising money from government agencies through grants and contracts, informed the federal agencies on creating greater transparency for their funding initiatives. The meeting also discussed communication involving individual projects and encouraged investment from the venture capital community.

"Government and industry are much closer collaborators in the biodefense sector than ever before," Ram May-Ron, vice president of FreeMind, said.

Steve Brozak, president of WBB Securities LLC, called for more transparency regarding milestones, results and areas of prioritization, which would provide the venture capital community with security to invest in biodefense companies.

Greater awareness, attendees were told, will lead to shorter applications for grants and contracts and potentially larger awards.

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