BARDA awards contracts to develop bioweapon countermeasures

Northrop Grumman and 3M have been awarded contracts worth $15.8 from the U.S. Department of Health’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to develop countermeasures against biological weapons.

The contracts are part of a total of eight awarded by BARDA earlier this week that are worth more than $100 million. 3M will receive $6 million from BARDA, while Northrop Grumman will receive $9.6 million, according to

A BARDA statement announced that the two companies will use the money to develop "integrated diagnostic capabilities for rapid, high-throughput surveillance and molecular diagnostics." These diagnostics would then be used to react to manmade biological threats.

Other recipients of the eight contracts include VaxDesign of Orlando, Florida; PATH of Seattle, Washington; Infectious Disease Research Institute of Seattle, Washington; Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics of Cambridge, Massachusetts; Rapid BioSystems of Bedford, Massachusetts; and Pfenex of SanDiego, California, reports.

The contracts will either directly support the evaluation and development of a specific type of countermeasure or have broader applicability that would benefit the United States’ countermeasure infrastructure.

A broad agency announcement contracting tool was used in awarding the contracts. The BAA seeks proposals in four categories of countermeasure development and is then used to identify platform technologies that fit several products or programs and that could be used effectively.

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