Via Declan at Connotea, we have a news release from the US Food and Drug Administration: FDA Announces Rapid Response Team to Combat Pandemic (Avian) Flu.
In partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and industry, the Rapid Response Team will work to ensure every necessary measure is taken to provide an adequate and timely supply of antiviral drugs to treat Avian flu, if it should emerge in the United States.
The Rapid Response Team will address roadblocks to increased manufacturing of products, such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate), already proven effective against Avian flu. It is anticipated that Tamiflu production can be in full gear within 12 months, with substantial product available, should it be needed.
Partnering with industry, academia and other government agencies, the team will support the design and conduct of clinical studies to test new potential treatments for Avian influenza. In the event of a pandemic, such new medications could be made available under Emergency Use Authorization.
In addition, the team will facilitate the development and availability of safe and effective vaccines that could help protect Americans against a future pandemic, including from Avian flu. These efforts include measures to help increase vaccine manufacturing capacity and production of currently licensed vaccines using Avian flu strains, and facilitating and evaluating studies that use new technologies.