AP Investigation: American company bungled Ebola response

San Francisco-based Metabiota Inc. was tapped by the Sierra Leonean government and the World Health Organization to help monitor the spread of the virus and support the response after Ebola was discovered circulating in neighboring Guinea in March 2014. But emails obtained by AP and interviews with aid workers on the ground show that some of the company’s actions made an already chaotic situation worse.

WHO outbreak expert Dr. Eric Bertherat wrote to colleagues in a July 17, 2014, email about misdiagnoses and “total confusion” at the Sierra Leone government lab Metabiota shared with Tulane University in the city of Kenema. He said there was “no tracking of the samples” and “absolutely no control on what is being done.”

“This is a situation that WHO can no longer endorse,” he wrote.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: bigstory.ap.org

Thanks to David Olive of Catalyst Partners for flagging this story.

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Artis Group takes BioSurveillance Solution to the US

Artis technology strategist, Justin Domaingue, said for governments who need to prepare for, and deal with, biosecurity, bio surveillance and bioterrorism events, BIS was an ideal solution.

“It can be easily configured for specific deployments, with in-built emergency mode allowing the client to focus on a crisis or event,” he said. “BIS offers fast access to information and real-time data, as well as geospatial mapping to pinpoint and isolate an incident; providing the ability to track, contain and eradicate disease outbreaks as well as certifying produce for export.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.arnnet.com.au

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PositiveID Corp. and GenArraytion, Inc. Join Forces as the Threat of Zika Continues to Rise

Feb. 2, 2016 PositiveID Corp. (OTCQB:PSID) has partnered with GenArraytion, Inc. who recently announced the development of the first commercially available polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based molecular test to identify the Zika virus, a fever-causing disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The Zika virus test works with an existing GenArraytion MultiFLEX™ Bioassay panel that targets viruses that cause dengue fever, yellow fever and Chikungunya, which are also carried by this mosquito and are known to cause febrile disease in humans. The Aedes Aegypti MultiFLEX™Bioassay test is designed to work on bead-based endpoint instruments and real-time PCR platforms, such as Positive ID’s, Firefly DX. The test targets four genetic regions of the Zika virus, making detection possible even if the virus mutates in the future. MultiFLEX™ molecular assays help health officials identify infectious diseases in panels with up to 20 genetic markers, for fever-causing and vector-borne disease organisms of concern.

PositiveID’s Firefly Dx is a hand-held unit designed to analyze biological samples and deliver molecular diagnostic results in less than 30 minutes. The portable nature of the Firefly Dx enables health care officials working in the field to accurately test and diagnose individuals on-the-spot. The rapid response of the Firefly Dx could allow officials to quickly assess a population’s exposure and enact measures to contain and prevent further spread of the infectious disease. To date, Firefly has demonstrated the ability to detect and identify many pathogens and diseases including, Ebola, measles, seasonal and avian flu, E. coli, and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (“MRSA”). With the use of GenArrayation Inc.’s assays in the future, Firefly Dx may also detect Zika, dengue fever, yellow fever, and Chikungunya.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.smallcapnetwork.com

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Army says failures in leadership at biodefense lab led to mishandled anthrax shipments

Mismanagement and technical failures allowed an Army biodefense facility to mistakenly send live anthrax samples to 194 commercial, academic and federal facilities over more than a decade, the Army said Friday after concluding an internal investigation.
The Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.latimes.com

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PositiveID Corporation Acquires E-N-G Mobile Systems, Inc.

E-N-G has averaged revenue of over $4 million per year for the past 10 years

E-N-G is a pioneer and leader in mobile labs, homeland security and communications vehicles, and TV news vehicles, with a long operating history of revenue generation

DELRAY BEACH, Fla., Dec. 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PositiveID Corporation (“PositiveID” or “Company”) (OTCQB:PSID), life sciences tools and diagnostics company, announced today that it has acquired California-based E-N-G Mobile Systems, Inc. (“ENG”), a leader in mobile labs, homeland security and communications vehicles. The acquisition of ENG will bring additional revenue to PositiveID as well as a highly synergistic technology platform and customer base.

The largest and fastest growing aspect of E-N-G’s business over the last decade has been its mobile labs segment, which includes chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological and explosives testing in the field. By adding PositiveID’s bio-detection expertise to ENG’s proven mobile technology capabilities, the combined company will be able to offer customers a turnkey mobile lab system able to conduct analysis and testing at the point of sampling rather than having to take samples back to a central lab for testing.

ENG, which was founded in 1988, has a solid operating history both in the U.S. and internationally, and an extensive list of customers ranging from the U.S. military, Fortune 100 companies, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, local and state governments, television broadcast outlets, and the nation’s foremost laboratories. Over the past 10 years, ENG has recorded average unaudited revenues annually of more than $4 million.

“This transformational acquisition strengthens our ability to execute our strategy of providing cutting-edge biological detection and diagnostics solutions to address large market needs,” stated William J. Caragol, Chairman and CEO of PositiveID. “The acquisition of ENG will broaden and diversify PositiveID’s revenue base and provide a strong foundation for future growth while we continue the development and testing of our real-time pathogen detection system, Firefly Dx. We believe the combination of the companies will improve our ability to deliver stockholder value,” continued Caragol.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: globenewswire.com

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‘USFK conducted 16 covert anthrax tests since 2009’

The U.S. Forces Korea has conducted 16 rounds of clandestine experiments involving dead anthrax samples and one plague test since 2009, a joint investigation panel said Thursday, upending Washington’s previous claim that last May’s anthrax shipment marked its first-ever trial here.

In late May, 22 U.S. servicemen were found to have possibly come into contact with the lethal bacteria sent to Osan Air Base in Gyeonggi Province from a military laboratory in Utah.

Though the USFK said that none of them had shown signs of infection and the substances were destroyed immediately, the incident fueled vehement protests by civic groups over what they called porous customs clearance, and prompted the allies to launch a working group for a fact-finding probe in July.

Announcing the results, the panel said the USFK had brought in and tested dead anthrax samples 15 times at Yongsan Garrison in central Seoul between 2009 and 2014. That adds to the May exercise for which it mailed 1 milliliter of inactive Yersinia pestis (bubonic plague) samples alongside the same amount of possibly live anthrax bacilli.

“We confirmed that USFK imported inactivated Bacillus anthracis test samples as well as inactivated Yersinia pestis samples for detection and identification training … while safely decontaminating the facility and destroying the samples,” said Maj. Gen. Chang Kyung-soo, director general for policy planning at Seoul’s Defense Ministry, who jointly heads the joint working group.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.koreaherald.com

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Top U.S. lab regulator replaced in wake of incidents with bioterror pathogens

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has replaced its longtime director of national lab regulation in the wake of several high-profile incidents involving bioterror pathogens and an internal review that identified areas of improvement for the oversight program, USA TODAY has learned.

The CDC, in a statement Tuesday, declined to say why it replaced Robbin Weyant on Nov. 9 as director of the agency’s Division of Select Agents and Toxins, which regulates hundreds of U.S. labs working with the organisms that cause anthrax, plague, Ebola and other deadly diseases that are deemed to pose bioterror risks.

The change occurred 18 days after the completion of an internal CDC review of the national lab oversight program that was launched after a USA TODAY NETWORK investigation prompted congressional probes and revealed CDC’s inspectors have allowed labs to keep experimenting despite failing to meet key safety requirements on inspection after inspection, sometimes for years.

Weyant had served as select-agent director since 2006, according to his LinkedIn profile, and he now lists his current job with CDC as a senior adviser in the agency lab safety office. Weyant also declined to comment on the reason for his job change, but said in an email: “I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to contribute to CDC’s new office dedicated to supporting laboratory safety.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.usatoday.com

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Project JUPITR early warning system can save lives | Article | The United States Army

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Dec. 4, 2015) — At U.S. military installations throughout the world, military police monitor force protection sensors, which consist of conventional and thermal imaging cameras, ground surveillance radar and seismic and acoustic sensors.

Installations also have chemical biological sensors, but they are operated as an independent system manned by chemical biological specialists in another location.

Project JUPITR’s early warning system aims at combining powerful surveillance tools into a single integrated system so military police and chemical biological specialists can immediately cross check their data and respond to incidents faster.

JUPITR, or Joint U.S. Forces in Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition, is a three-year advanced technology demonstration of biosurveillance technology for deployment on the Korean Peninsula.

The leg is an assessment of 10 different biological agent detection technologies in the field to determine their speed, accuracy and suitability for a field environment.

In June 2015, a team of U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center’s, or ECBC’s, chemical biological specialists and Joint Project Manager, or JPM, Guardian software systems and hardware engineers performed an operational demonstration of a system of integrated force protection and chemical biological sensors on Osan Air Base, South Korea, with U.S. Army and Air Force military police and chemical biological specialists.

“We had a system called the Joint All-Hazards Common Control Station [JACCS] that we use in Afghanistan,” said Robert Bednarczyk, deputy product manager for Joint Product Manager Force Protection Systems and the leader of the early warning effort. “It features a common operating picture, which displays all the force protection sensor data on one screen.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.army.mil

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PositiveID Corporation Closes Transaction With Thermomedics and the Caregiver Non-Contact Thermometer

DELRAY BEACH, Fla., Dec. 08, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PositiveID Corporation (“PositiveID” or “Company”) (OTCQB:PSID), a life sciences company with an extensive patent portfolio, announced today that it has entered into a First Amendment to the Stock Purchase Agreement to acquire Thermomedics, Inc., which markets the FDA-cleared Caregiver® non-contact thermometer, and entered into a Management Services and Control Agreement, whereby the seller of Thermomedics has fully transferred control of Thermomedics to PositiveID.
In conjunction with these agreements, PositiveID has replaced all of the directors and officers of Thermomedics, Inc. Gary O’Hara, Chief Technology Officer of Thermomedics, and Ron Benincasa, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Thermomedics, will continue as the leaders of the Caregiver business.
Caregiver is a clinical grade, infrared thermometer for measurement of forehead temperature in adults, children, and infants, without contact. Since there is no skin contact and Caregiver does not require probe cover supplies, it reduces the risk of cross-contamination and saves healthcare facilities the cost of covers (which are as much as $0.05 to $0.15 per temperature), storage space, and waste disposal costs. Caregiver is the world’s first non-contact device with TouchFree™ technology and was developed by the inventors of tympanic thermometry.
Thermomedics currently has agreements with the world’s leading healthcare product distributors. The established distribution and customer channels, including the federal government, for Caregiver are expected to provide synergies to PositiveID as it continues the development and testing of its Firefly Dx real-time pathogen detection system and prepares for commercialization.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: money.cnn.com

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