WASHINGTON, July 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alliance for Biosecurity announced it recently elected Anders Hedegaard, President and CEO, Bavarian Nordic, and Elizabeth Posillico, PhD, President and CEO, Elusys Therapeutics, as its new co-chairs. They will represent the Alliance before the U.S. government and other agencies, to advance the development of new medical countermeasures to be used against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear threats. Hedegaard and Posillico will each serve a two-year term, which commenced on June 1, 2013.
The Alliance for Biosecurity was formed in 2005 with the vision of improving the nation's biosecurity through the development of medical countermeasures (MCMs) to address a range of bioterrorism and natural pandemic threats. Activities of the Alliance include educating Congress and other government stakeholders about biosecurity and drug development issues, promoting the success of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), advancing the science of animal model development, accelerating MCM development and presenting consensus policy proposals to the government.
The Alliance has successfully advocated for preserving the BioShield Special Reserve Fund and BARDA to maintain funding for the development and procurement of MCMs. In addition, several Alliance recommendations for enhancing the regulatory pathway for MCMs and better integrating the Food and Drug Administration into the development process were adopted in recently enacted legislation.
"We are at a critical time, where further funding, research and development of medical countermeasures are necessary to ensure that preparedness programs continue to be carefully planned and sustained over the long-term, creating the national capabilities needed to protect Americans from public health threats," said Posillico. "Our efforts at the Alliance will also help to promote the success of BARDA and its important work developing medical countermeasures against a broad array of public health threats."
"Alliance members applaud the recent five-year reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, which extends funding for Project BioShield and also enacts initiatives to speed the development of medical countermeasures," said Hedegaard. "We look forward to working with elected officials to safeguard public health by ensuring that important vaccines and therapeutics against life-threatening infectious diseases continue to be developed, supplied and are available when needed."
About Bavarian Nordic
Bavarian Nordic is a vaccine-focused biotechnology company developing and producing novel vaccines for the treatment and prevention of life-threatening diseases with a large unmet medical need. The company's pipeline targets cancer and infectious diseases, and includes ten development programs. In oncology, the company's lead program is PROSTVAC®, a therapeutic vaccine candidate for advanced prostate cancer that is the subject of an ongoing pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial and is being developed under a collaboration agreement with the National Cancer Institute. In clinical Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials, PROSTVAC® has been tested in nearly 600 patients. In infectious diseases, the company's lead program is IMVAMUNE®/IMVANEX®, a non-replicating smallpox vaccine candidate that is being developed and supplied for emergency use to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile under a contract with the U.S. Government. IMVAMUNE®/ IMVANEX® is currently in clinical Phase 3 development and marketing authorization applications have been filed in EU and Canada. Bavarian Nordic's shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen under the symbol BAVA (Reuters: BAVA.CO, Bloomberg: BAVA.DC). The company has a sponsored Level 1 ADR program listed in the U.S. (OTC) under the symbol BVNRY. For more information, visit www.bavarian-nordic.com
About Elusys Therapeutics, Inc.
Elusys Therapeutics, a private company based in Pine Brook, NJ, is focused on the development of antibody therapeutics for the treatment of life-threatening disease. Elusys has been engaged in development of biodefense countermeasures since 2000. The company has established experience in government contract management and to date has received multiple grants and contracts totaling over $200 million for the development of ETI-204 as a biowarfare countermeasure to protect people in the event of an anthrax attack. ETI-204, a highly effective, anthrax anti-toxin, is in late-stage development and is a strong candidate for procurement into the Strategic National Stockpile. For more information, please visit www.elusys.com.
About the Alliance for Biosecurity
The Alliance for Biosecurity is a collaboration among pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that are working in the public interest to improve prevention and treatment of severe infectious diseases—particularly those diseases that present global security challenges. The Alliance for Biosecurity promotes a stronger, more effective partnership between government, the biopharmaceutical industry, and other stakeholders in order to advance their shared goal of developing critically needed medical countermeasures. The Alliance also seeks to develop sound public policy proposals that could bolster national efforts to rapidly develop, produce, stockpile, and distribute medical countermeasures. Alliance member companies believe that innovations created in the biodefense space can inform and accelerate drug and vaccine development in many critical areas. The Alliance supports a long-term national security vision for achieving and sustaining defenses against a range of bioterror threats that present national security challenges. For more information, visit the Alliance for Biosecurity website at www.allianceforbiosecurity.org.
SOURCE Alliance for Biosecurity