CDC hires Battelle to run CASPIR

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hired Battelle, a Columbus, Ohio-based research and security company, to run a Lawrenceville, Georgia-based biological specimen facility, the company announced on Monday.

For at least the next five years, experts with Battelle will help the CDC run CASPIR, the CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Specimen Packaging, Inventory and Repository. The facility provides storage for scientists and researchers investigating things like the world's next viral outbreak or new diagnostic tests for the next avian flu outbreak.

Staff from Battelle will be responsible for the chain of custody for each outgoing and incoming biological specimen, as well as being on call to supervise all dry ice, gases and cryogenics needed to maintain operations.

The Lawrenceville facility contains large metal vats, each of them containing 40,000 vials of an array of specimens such as urine, DNA, tissue and blood. Many of the samples are unique and irreplaceable. The facility provides secure, continuous and long-term storage to the specimens.

The five-year, $12.6 million contract requires Battelle to manage 12 million biological samples at the CDC's Lawrenceville facility and the CDC's Chamblee and Roybal campuses.

"We are honored to have won the right to assist the CDC in running this important facility," Sudip Parikh, the health and analytics general manager at Battelle. "It is just this kind of science, technology and lab management contract that highlights the strengths of our organization."

Battelle services the health and life sciences, national security, energy and environmental industries.