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Winning the War Against Bioterrorism: The Role of Private Companies

Thursday December 2001

Moderator: Robert M. Goldberg, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman, Department of Microbiology and Tropical Medicine, George Washington University Medical Center
Michael Moodie, President, Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute
Robert Erwin, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Large Scale Biology Corporation
Lance Gordon, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, VaxGen, Inc.

This panel discussion will shed light on the important role private biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies can play in defending the nation against bioterrorism now and in the future. Private industry can be viewed and should be regarded as a strategic asset in the war against terrorism. At the same time, during a time of war the government has to create the right incentives and structure to sustain investment in such activities. Our panel will discuss two current approaches to developing weapons for combating bioterrorism—having the government revoke the patents of innovative drugs such as Cipro and vaccines and license them to generic manufacturers to reduce acquisition costs, or starting developing and producing such products itself as part of a broader discussion of what is the best way to tap into the significant scientific and technological capacity of private companies to develop weapons against bioterrorism.