GAO: Too soon to rate latest HHS countermeasure efforts

first_imgThe US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has spent $440 million in the past 2 years on contracts to strengthen the manufacturing base for defenses against pandemic flu and other public health threats, but it’s too early to tell how well the efforts will pay off, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released yesterday.The report focuses on HHS’s move to develop flexible manufacturing facilities to support the development of medical countermeasures against pandemic flu and other chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats. The effort stems from a reevaluation of US medical countermeasures activities in 2010, following the 2009 flu pandemic, when most of the pandemic flu vaccine supply arrived after the epidemic’s peak.One conclusion of the 2010 review, the GAO notes, was that HHS should establish “Centers for Innovation in Advance Development and Manufacturing” (CIADMs) and related facilities to support the production and distribution of countermeasures.Contracts for capacity, distributionIn fiscal years 2012 and 2013, HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) awarded contracts totaling about $400 million for three CIADMs. The contracts went to Emergent Manufacturing Operations, Baltimore; Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Cambridge, Mass.; and Texas A&M University, College Station, Tex.The GAO says the contracts require the organizations to do three things: develop the capacity to make pandemic flu vaccines in an emergency (up to 50 million doses in 4 months), establish “core services” to support the development of CBRN countermeasures generally, and provide workforce training.BARDA also awarded a total of $40 million to four companies to set up packaging facilities to prepare countermeasures for distribution. The four companies in the “Fill Finish Manufacturing Network” are Cook Pharmica, Bloomington, Ind.; DSM Pharmaceuticals, Greenville, N.C.; JHP Pharmaceuticals, Parsippany, N.J.; and Nanotherapeutics, Alachua, Fla., which is partnering with Baxter Pharmaceutical Solutions.The network’s main purpose is to provide fill-finish services for pandemic flu vaccines, but it also could provide such services for certain aseptic drugs during a shortage, the report says. The companies are expected to be equipped to fill and finish 117 million doses of pandemic flu vaccine in 12 weeks.The three CIADMs are scheduled to complete construction or retrofitting of facilities, acquire a pandemic flu vaccine candidate, and validate their manufacturing surge capacity with the FDA by the end of their contract base period, the GAO says. That means 2020 for Emergent, 2016 for Novartis, and 2017 for Texas A&M.BARDA officials told the GAO that they expect at least one CIADM will be ready to start making pandemic flu vaccine in 2017 and that all three will be ready by 2020.Too early to assess HHS approachThe GAO found that HHS followed the recommendation from the 2010 review to establish CIADMs capable of providing core services to support the production of CBRN countermeasures. “However, it is too early to tell how effective this approach will be because HHS has not begun to issue task orders to CIADMs for core services,” the report states.It adds that BARDA has set up a CIADM steering committee and written guidance to govern the task order process once the CIADMs are operating.”BARDA officials said that they anticipate having sufficient demand for the services and funding for task orders in fiscal years 2014 and 2015,” the report says.HHS officials agreed with the GAO’s conclusions, the report says. The officials also commented that the CIADMs are almost a year ahead of schedule in completing production and stepping up activities in anticipation of receiving the first HHS task orders this year.An appendix to the report lists 24 types of core services the CIADMs are expected to provide. Some examples are regulatory affairs support, quality control support, clinical and nonclinical studies, pilot manufacturing of clinical investigation lots, and process validation.See also: Mar 31 GAO report summaryFull GAO report (36 pages)last_img read more

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Chamber Celebrates CrossFit LA Renovation Today!

first_imgCFLA has 16 coaches, 12 certified CrossFit Trainers, four USAW certified coaches, six personal trainers and a certified Kettlebell instructor.  “The success of CrossFit Los Alamos is due to an incredible community of members and coaches!” Suzanne said. “CFLA is proud to be a part of helping build strength and confidence in the lives of Los Alamos residents.” Ribbon cuttings are a benefit of being a Los Alamos Chamber Member. For more information about Chamber membership, visit losalamoschamber.com or call Ryn Herrmann at 505.661.4807.The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce is a program of Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation, a private, not-for-profit economic and community development organization serving the Los Alamos area since 1983. LACDC serves as the umbrella organization for the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, Los Alamos MainStreet, Discover Los Alamos, Los Alamos Small Business Center, projectY cowork Los Alamos and the Los Alamos Research Park. Classes offered include: Beginner/On-ramp;Intermediate and Advanced CrossFit classes; Olympic lifting /Barbell Club; Glute focus;Kettlebells; and Teen lifting class. CHAMBER News: CrossFit Los Alamos (CFLA) operates in a 5,000 sq. ft. industrial space and has expanded four times to accommodate growth in the last seven years.  The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the renovation at the CrossFit Los Alamos gym with a ribbon cutting 1-3 p.m. today with the actual ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. at 278 A DP Road.CrossFit Los Alamos is entering its 8th year as a New Mexico CrossFit affiliate. The business, also known as Mesa Elite Fitness, has been operating for 10 years in Los Alamos. Originally in Central Park Square, the business has continued to grow by leaps and bounds. John and Suzanne Wilcox, owners of CFLA have been residents of Los Alamos for 21 years. The couple moved to Los Alamos in 1998 Steamboat Springs, Colo. John also works for N3B. The couple have been married for 28 years and have four children. Recent upgrades have increased training space and include an entire fleet of top of the line Rogue Echo Air bikes as well as new Concept 2 Ski Ergs. These additions compliment an already beautifully equipped gym space.last_img read more

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Progress with innovation reaffirmed by HyperSolar

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

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Pinnacle Strategies Helps Subsea Industry Providers

first_imgPinnacle Strategies announced that one of its clients, a global subsea technology provider for the oil and gas industry, improved on-time delivery and improved cost controls as a result of Pinnacle Strategies’ Sales and Operations process planning.Pinnacle Strategies’ challenge was to help the subsea technology provider improve on-time delivery performance to customers and improve resource utilization. Subsequent investigation identified the root problem, the business unit had no process to match planned demand to planned capacity. Because of this gap at the front end of the process, the business unit was squeezed at the back end, forced into expensive scrambles for parts.Pinnacle Strategies lead a global Sales and Operations Planning process that opened visibility into demand, developed capacity planning, and established monthly reviews to intercept challenges before they threatened customer deliveries.The planning process included the following elements:-Demand planning;-Supply planning;-Sales and operations alignment.As a result, on-time delivery improved and the client simultaneously improved customer service, cost controls, and resource utilization. The client transformed operations from a liability that worked in the dark to a productive unit that could forecast its demands as much as three years in advance. Aligning demand and supply gave them the ability to optimize their critical resources and move from reactive to proactive management.Press Release, April 22, 2014last_img read more

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Scottish drone inspection firm opens Houston office

first_imgScottish firm Cyberhawk Innovations, an aerial inspection and survey specialists using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), is launching a Houston office in the USA, coinciding with the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.The company explains that the new office comes as a result of increasing demand from existing oil and gas customers who recognize the significant cost and time savings on offer from UAV inspection.Cyberhawk has already undertaken oil and gas inspection work in North America, for operators in Canada, and has a number of projects lined up with oil and gas supermajors in the US over the coming months. Craig Roberts, CEO at Cyberhawk, said: “The feedback we have received over the last 12 months has confirmed our understanding, that although there are many UAV operators in the US, few have either the depth or the range of experience and expertise offered by Cyberhawk’s proven oil and gas inspection solutions.“We have, for example, completed significantly more than 200 live flare inspections on and offshore in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa and North America.  “Over the coming months, we expect to see significant uptake with operators who are looking for more efficient and cost effective inspection solutions, particularly during this challenging period for the oil and gas industry.”Cyberhawk’s operations director, Chris Fleming, has spent the last three months in the US undertaking market research and will relocate to Houston permanently, to become general manager for America. The coming months will see Cyberhawk increase staff numbers in the region through a combination of recruitment and mobilization of UK-based personnel, the company said.Headquartered in Livingston, Scotland, Cyberhawk adds the new Houston base to its existing international offices in the Middle East and SE Asia.Cyberhawk is exhibiting at OTC this week on stand 2063/04, Scottish Pavilion stand number 11.  The company will be showcasing its latest management software as well as expertise in inspection and surveying.last_img read more

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GFS Corp wins LNG truck conversion deal

first_imgFlorida-based GFS Corp on Tuesday said it has received an order to convert an entire fleet of Caterpillar 785 trucks to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG).The trucks are planned to be operating on LNG by late January 2017  at an undisclosed mine in the United States, GFS Corp said in its statement.The new systems join GFS Corp’s product lineup that include NG+D systems for the Caterpillar 777 and 793 as well as the Komatsu 830 and 930 haul trucks.Trucks with these systems have accumulated over 400,000 hours of runtime to date, in mine service, substituting lower cost, cleaner burning LNG for a substantial portion of the diesel fuel that the truck would have normally used, according to the statement.The EVO-WL 9920 represents the company’s first LNG solution for wheel loaders, GFS Corp said, adding that the first of these will be operational in early 2017.Systems for other wheel loaders are scheduled to be released in the second half of 2017.last_img read more

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Legal Wales: Pro vice-chancellor calls for ‘decolonisation’ of Welsh law schools

first_imgA ‘crisis’ in Welsh legal scholarship must be addressed through a process of ’decolonisation’ from England, a leading barrister-academic told last Friday’s Legal Wales conference.Professor Iwan Davies, senior pro vice-chancellor of Swansea University, said Wales’s law schools are not fit for purpose and would benefit from fresh thinking that could include ditching the LLB and three-year undergraduate programme.’If there is a future for Welsh law schools it must be in differentiation,’ professor Davies told the 200-strong gathering. This is essential if Wales is to recruit and attract legal talent, and ’support the development of Wales as a confident emerging jurisdiction within the family of the common law’, he said.Davies outlined what he perceives to be the huge challenge facing higher education in Wales as the nation’s legal system diverges from that of England.Only Cardiff and Swansea feature in the top 500 universities in the world for law, as ranked by higher education data specialists QS. Just 44 individuals at Welsh law schools have world-class academic credentials – inadequate to deliver ’the kind of critical mass that needs to accompany the development of a new jurisdiction’.Davies also pointed out that just £1m is spent on supporting Welsh law schools, of which half goes Cardiff, a quarter to Swansea, and the rest to Aberystwyth and Bangor universities.On research funding the ’performance of Welsh law schools is significantly worse than that in England’, he added, at less than 0.01% of the total. This compares with 0.2% for Russell Group institutions in England.’The point here is not to cry in one’s beer, but we have a systemic issue that we need to address,’ said Davies. ’There is a crisis in legal scholarship.’Davies said Wales needs to develop a new ’paradigm’ for legal education, adding: ’There needs to be a fresh approach around an empirical research programme. Law schools in Wales look too much like English law schools. Is there a case for ‘decolonisation’ of Welsh law schools [so that we are] not merely an annex of England?’He added: ’We have to provide quality legal education and opportunities for our students. Times/Guardian league tables show too many of our law schools are beneath the middle ranks. That simply isn’t good enough.’Davies also pointed to the importance of attracting a higher proportion of Wales-domiciled law students to Welsh law schools. He outlined a string of potential initiatives, including:Redesigning law curricula, given the ’deregulation’ of law degrees;Paying greater attention to consumer perception – ’rankings matter and we need to drive up standards’; andDifferentiation: ’Should we be wedded to a three-year undergraduate programme? Should we be wedded, just because England is wedded, to the LLB?’Davies suggested that with Law Society and bar help, a case could be made for developing a ’Welsh society of public teachers of law’.Calling for a conference to examine for the future of Welsh law schools, he concluded: ’If we cannot provide opportunities for our graduates, we are cynical as legal educators.’last_img read more

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The Voice UK 2020 episode 8 – preview the first Battle round

first_img Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITVcenter_img Credit: ITV Credit: ITV The Voice UK 2020 moves forward tonight following the end of the Blind Auditions last week.All of the coaches – Olly Murs, Sir Tom Jones, Meghan Trainor and will.i.am – completed their teams and they’ve now got 40 hopefuls ready to progress to the next stage.Tonight sees the start of the Battle rounds with coaches returning to their infamous red chairs as their acts go head to head and fight for their place on their coach’s team.The singers that impress their coach the most remain in the competition with a chance of winning a recording contract. Will those that aren’t so lucky be stolen by another coach or will they be going home?As always, there promises to be plenty of surprises so keep your fingers crossed that your favourites pull it out of the bag and deliver otherwise they’ll be heading home.The Voice UK continues at 8.30pm tonight on ITV. Preview it with our gallery below: Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITV Credit: ITVlast_img read more

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Cote d’Ivoire’s President formally nominated for a third term

first_imgPresident Alassane Ouattara © Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty President Alassane Ouattara © Sia Kambou/AFP/GettyCote d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara was formally nominated on Saturday by the ruling party to stand for a third term in October elections despite charges by the opposition that the run is unconstitutional.Ouattara has been in power since March 2010 and earlier this year promised not to run again. However, the ruling party nominated him as its candidate after its previous nominee, Prime Minister Amadou Coulibaly, died in July from a heart attack. Ouattara said the death of the prime minister left a void and argued that because changes were made to the constitution in 2016, his previous terms do not count toward a two-term limit.“Nothing prevents me from being a candidate,” said Ouattara Saturday, speaking to his supporters at the main stadium in Abidjan.He said that opposition parties are “fearful” and assured his followers that he will emerge victorious in the October 31 election.Opposition political parties have called on Ouattara to withdraw his candidacy.Ouattara’s move to stand for a third term has revived political tensions in the West African nation and violent protests since his announcement has killed at least six people and injured many others. There are worries that more unrest will come in the runup to the elections.Election authorities this week also rejected appeals by Gbagbo and a former rebel leader Guillaume Soro to run in the October election.Related Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza Wins Third Term Rwanda President Free to Run for a Third Termcenter_img Rwandans want a third term for President Kagamelast_img read more

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DPSU finally accepts government’s salary offer

first_img Share LocalNews DPSU finally accepts government’s salary offer by: – February 14, 2013 Share 18 Views   3 comments Sharecenter_img Tweet Sharing is caring! General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union, Thomas LetangAfter months of negotiations and discussions, the Dominica Public Service has finally accepted the government’s salary increase of 1.5% for the year 2011/2012. General secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union Thomas Letang who advised the membership last week Friday that they should accept the offer, revealed on Thursday, February 14th that the “general consensus was that we accept the 1.5 for the final year”.While he admitted that “we would have really liked to get something more at least the two percent”, he said the Union will officially communicate this to the government sometime today.He noted that their decision to accept the offer was based on the fact that they were “mandated by the membership” to liaise with the Police Welfare Association and pursue and additional 0.5% which would make it a 2% increase as opposed to the 3% they were asking for originally.However, since the Police Welfare Association accepted the 1.5% they felt that they should also accept it.Also, the Union was able to get government to accede to their request of a contribution to their medical fund and will receive $300, 000 (three hundred thousand dollars) towards this fund.The Union previously accepted the government’s offer of 1% salary increase for public officers for the period 2010/2011.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

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