Project BioShield Fact Sheet

Background:

On February 3, 2003, President Bush unveiled the details of Project BioShield, a comprehensive effort by the federal government to stimulate drug and vaccine development, to protect American citizens against attacks by biological or chemical weapons. To achieve this goal, Project BioShield has three major components: 1) funding to speed research and development on countermeasures; 2) spending authority for the procurement of countermeasures; and 3) providing new FDA emergency use authorization for promising countermeasures.

The Senate unanimously passed the legislation (S.15) May 19th, 2004 and the House approved the measure 414-2 on July 14th. President George W. Bush signed the measure into law on July 21st (Public Law No: 108-276).

Discussion Points:

The Project BioShield Act of 2004 addresses the three core principals articulated in the president's initiative. While BIO believes that the legislation needs to do more to address liability protection, which is critical to enabling broader participation by the biotechnology industry in the efforts to develop and produce products to counter potential biological attacks, BIO supported passage of this legislation as an important first step.

BIO Position:

Overall, BIO supports the goals articulated in the President's Project BioShield initiative, and is committed to contributing to our nation's common defense. We will work with Congress and the Administration to enact Project Bioshield legislation and look forward to finding future opportunities to address the issue of liability protection, as well as other needs and concerns of the industry.

Contact Information:

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

For more information, please contact Dave Boyer, Director of Federal Government Relations, at (202) 962-9200 or [email protected].