The American biodefence industry: From emergency to nonemergence

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since 1998, and especially since the "Amerithrax" emergency of 2001, the United States has ambitiously funded biodefense projects, intending not only to enhance detection and management of any biological-weapons attack but also to establish a robust domestic biodefense industry. I asked if the United States had fulfilled this latter intention. Using the RAND Corporation's RaDiUS database, I examined federal biodefense grants and contracts awarded from 1995 through most of 2005, noting recipient type, awarding unit, funding level, and the disease focus of research-and-development support. Patterns in these data as well as other sources suggest that the biodefense industry as late as 2005 remained in a nascent stage, with most firms small, precariously financed, and more responsive to funders' announcements and solicitations than to opportunities for self-directed innovation. A biodefense industry with investor-capital funding and retained earnings, with its own leading companies, with its own stock analysts, and with its own legitimacy in commercial and financial markets did not emerge over the period studied, nor does its emergence appear imminent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalPOLITICS AND THE LIFE SCIENCES
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

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