A report from IHS Inc. indicates that privately held companies are increasing their investments into the developments of countermeasures against biological weapons, the group announced on Monday.
According to the report, the 2013 Ebola outbreak garnered interest in the field of countermeasures and treatments for emerging and exotic pathogens. Those biotech companies that pursue this area will likely gain support from governmental agencies.
“Revenue losses in the pharmaceutical industry, due to the impact of patent expiries and austerity measures, have led many pharmaceutical companies to seek new opportunities outside their normal areas of business,” Mark Hollis, life sciences expert at HIS, said. “One such opportunity may be the development of countermeasures to diseases that could be used as biological weapons.”
The report does state that this area is a niche, despite this there is earning potential there through government development contracts. They reported that the U.S. has made contracts amounting to approximately $1.5 billion over the past five years.
According to IHS, many pathogens that have potential as a biological weapon are also considered emerging tropical diseases. The sudden appearances of the Ebola virus in West Africa has caused intelligence forces to assess whether it could have been brought on by an attack.