An unusual federal government agency, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), is providing funding and technical expertise to more than 85 pharmaceutical and biotech companies and 25 academic organizations.

The goal is to accelerate the late-stage development and manufacture of vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices that could prove vital to protecting public health during an anthrax outbreak, a bioterrorist nuclear event, pandemic H7N9 (avian flu) epidemic, or an emerging infectious disease that is antibiotic-resistant.

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