HHS creates foundry to boost US response to public health emergencies

HHS created the Foundry for American Biotechnology to help the U.S. prepare for and respond to public health threats as the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the globe, the agency said Feb. 10. 

The facility will be based out of Manchester, N.H., and managed alongside local technology company DEKA Research Corp. It will focus on developing technologies that will help the U.S. protect against and respond to health security threats, enhance daily medical care and add to the U.S. bioeconomy. 

"As the outbreak of the novel coronavirus reminds us, protecting the health and security of the American people requires constantly investing in biotechnology innovation and partnering with the private sector," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "Every year, America faces natural disasters and other public health emergencies, and some day, Americans will be able to recover faster from these emergencies and stay healthier because of products that come out of this foundry."

The foundry's first project will be to make small, portable devices that can be sent to disaster locations to make needed drugs on-site. The idea is such devices would eliminate the possibility of drug shortages if a public health emergency interrupts the global drug supply chain. 

Read the full news release here

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