Skip to main content

Bush Signs Project BioShield Legislation

NEW YORK, July 21 (GenomeWeb News) - US President Bush this morning signed the Project BioShield Act, thereby authorizing the US government to spend $5.6 billion over 10 years to purchase vaccines and drugs to combat potential bioterrorism threats such as anthrax and smallpox.


According to remarks made by the President at this morning's signing of the bill, the US Department of Health and Human Services has already initiated the purchase of 75 million doses of a new anthrax vaccine, and plans to acquire a second-generation smallpox vaccine, an antidote to botulinum toxin, and better treatments for chemical or radiological poisoning. It was unclear whether the bill would provide funding for basic bioterrorism-related genomic or molecular biology research.


First revealed in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, the bill has been eagerly anticipated by vaccine and drug makers looking for financial incentive to focus research and development efforts on bioterrorism-related products. In an April 16 Science magazine editorial, Claire Fraser, president and director of The Institute for Genomic Research, stressed the dire need for such an incentive to also increase industry efforts in combating the increasing number of naturally occurring infectious diseases and drug-resistant bacteria. Fraser was unavailable for comment prior to the publication of this article.

The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.