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Biotechs for biodefense

Companies gather to learn about opportunities for public-private partnerships.

Hannah Kamenetsky(hkamenetsky@mindspring.com)

Details of the President's Project BioShield, a $6 billion proposal to fast-track bioagent vaccines and treatments, have yet to be revealed, but the announcement alone has spurred a gold rush among biotech companies eager to get involved in the 10-year research-and-development initiative. In one of several such meetings coming up, biotech companies gathered at a conference in Maryland Thursday to find out how they can get a piece of the biodefense pie, including the latest new potential plum.

Sponsored by AdvaMed, a medical technology trade association based in Washington, DC, the day focused on public-private partnerships in the fight against bioterrorism. Representatives of a handful of government agencies told the biotechs their participation is welcome as the government struggles to meet the challenge of chemical and biological threats to civilians and to soldiers on the battlefield.

"We have to have products so we can show the American...

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