Biodefense and special pathogen vaccines in development 1

Published on May 28, 2015   28 min

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Hello, and welcome to this course on Biodefense and Special Pathogens, Vaccines in Development. My name is Dr. Gerry Kovacs, and I am the scientific director for Advanced BioScience Laboratories, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Institute Merieux. Formerly I was the director of the chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical countermeasures program at BARDA, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority within the US Department of Health and Human Services. At BARDA, I was responsible for the development of vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics against the highest priority threat agents that may impact the health security of the United States.
We will start by looking back at the history of bioterrorism. This is defined as the intentional release or dissemination of biological agents, these are viruses, bacteria, toxins, or other harmful agents, in order to inflict pain, suffering, and death in people, animals, and plants. What we find is that bioterrorism is not a novel warfare idea, but rather has been used for millennia. We will then define bioterrorism agents, how we categorize them according to the severity of disease they cause, and how the US government has prioritized which agents pose the greatest threat to public health. We will also discuss the different types of vaccines manufacturers are developing for the myriad bioterrorism agents identified to date. Biodefense vaccines also pose unique challenges to manufacturers. The fact that many of these infectious agents do not circulate in nature poses challenges regarding the testing of their efficacy. We will review some of the ways the Food and Drug Administration has aided in the development of these types of products. We will also review what biodefense vaccines have been licensed, and enumerate those that are still in development. For the purpose of this lecture, I also feel it is important to highlight three case studies on biodefense vaccines. These will be smallpox, anthrax, and Ebola. All three of these vaccines have posed unique challenges to manufacturers. Lastly, we will end with a few reflections on the future of biodefense vaccines.

Biodefense and special pathogen vaccines in development 1

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