UDT responds to potential BioShield cuts

Universal Detection Technology, a significant producer of biodefense early warning monitoring technologies and a provider of training to counter-terrorism personnel, has responded to a House appropriations bill that would cut funding to Project Bioshield.

According to FinancialPost.com, the bill cuts a total of $2 billion from Bioshield, which has held federal money to pay for the development and distribution of medical countermeasures in the case of an emergency since 2004.

“The threat of bioterrorism continues to be a chief concern to our national security,” Jacques Tizabi, CEO of Universal Detection Technology, told FinancialPost.com. “Elevating the level of discourse and concern on Capitol Hill is crucial in our ability to adequately prepare ourselves with the right information, resources and equipment necessary to prevent, detect and counter against potential biothreats.”

Tizabi’s comments come after a July 13 letter from former senators Bob Graham (D-FL) and Jim Talent (R-MO) that said that, “Raiding the BioShield SRF for non-biodefense programs will drive a stake through the heart of America’s fledgling biodefense efforts.”

The White House, however, supports the cuts.

“[BioShield] demonstrated limited success in providing incentive for private-sector developers and has not provided a robust pipeline of medical countermeasures,” Nick Shapiro, a spokesman for the administration, told Financial Post.com.