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​US - Fort Detrick lab shut down after failed safety inspection; all research halted indefinitely

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  • ​US - Fort Detrick lab shut down after failed safety inspection; all research halted indefinitely

    Fort Detrick lab shut down after failed safety inspection; all research halted indefinitely

    By Heather Mongilio Aug 2, 2019 Updated Aug 3, 2019 10

    All research at a Fort Detrick laboratory that handles high-level disease-causing material, such as Ebola, is on hold indefinitely after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the organization failed to meet biosafety standards.

    No infectious pathogens, or disease-causing material, have been found outside authorized areas at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

    The CDC inspected the military research institute in June and inspectors found several areas of concern in standard operating procedures, which are in place to protect workers in biosafety level 3 and 4 laboratories, spokeswoman Caree Vander Linden confirmed in an email Friday.

    The CDC sent a cease and desist order in July.


    Effect of USAMRIID shutdown on research at Fort Detrick unclear

    By Heather Mongilio Aug 7, 2019
    At the time of a cease and desist letter from the CDC, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases was working on a multi-year project to develop antibody-based therapies for four lethal viruses.
    The goal of the five-year project was to create treatments for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, Andes virus, Sin Nombre virus and Puumala virus, which do not have any approved vaccines or treatments. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus falls under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ select agents and toxins list.
    The Albert Einstein project was just one of the many projects scientists at USAMRIID were working on.

    In March, USAMRIID announced that the Food and Drug Administration provided an agreement that would allow an animal model to help develop remdesivir, which is used to treat Ebola.
    The Frederick County Health Department was notified after the cease and desist letter, around mid-July, according to Randall Culpepper, director of HealthCare Connection and Preparedness at the Frederick County Health Department. The department will meet with USAMRIID officials again this week.
    In addition to alerting the county health department, USAMRIID officials contacted the county executive, the Maryland Department of Health and Maryland Public Health Laboratory, as per protocol, County Executive Jan Gardner said in a voice mail response for comment.


    The CDC shut down an Army lab that’s working on an Ebola vaccine

    By: Meghann Myers 1 day ago
    An Army lab that houses Ebola virus and other infectious diseases has been shutdown due to violations found in June by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a CDC spokeswoman confirmed to Army Times on Thursday.

    The U.S. Army Medical Research of Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is at a standstill until the violations are fixed and it is re-instated with the Federal Select Agents Program, which allowed it to handle dangerous biological specimens.

    “CDC can confirm FSAP has suspended USAMRIID’s registration with the Federal Select Agent Program until USAMRIID corrects deficiencies that have been identified by FSAP,” Sharon Hopkins said.

    Hoskins did not provide further details of the lab’s compliance issues.
    USAMRIID has been working on an Ebola vaccine, and in March announced that the Food and Drug Administration had agreed to let it infect rhesus macaque monkeys with active virus in order to test the developing cure.

    That research is now on hold, until USAMRIID is back in CDC compliance.

    See also:

    March 28, 2019 (301) 619-2285
    Fort Detrick, MD

    USAMRIID Research Provides Regulatory Framework for Developing Ebola Virus Therapeutic
    under FDA “Animal Rule”

    USAMRIID INCIDENTS IN BSL-3 & 4 Laboratories: 2015, 2016, and 2017
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela