Gryphon Scientists Analyze the Accelerating Pace of Biotechnology Democratization in Nature Biotechnology

Gryphon Scientists Analyze the Accelerating Pace of Biotechnology Democratization in Nature Biotechnology

Gryphon Scientists Analyze the Accelerating Pace of Biotechnology Democratization in Nature Biotechnology

As biotechnologies mature from activities requiring substantial educational and financial investments into those requiring far less resources, the technologies can more readily be misused to cause harm. Understanding the speed at which new biotechnologies become “democratized” is important for developing regulatory and security policies and practices that safeguard against accidental or intentional misuse without unduly hampering cutting-edge research. In this publication from Nature Biotechnology, Gryphon researchers use a novel analytical method to analyze the pace of advancement of biotechnologies. Gryphon’s analysis suggests that novel biotechnologies can become democratized – that is, accessible to many individuals with relatively low levels of technical skill and financial resources – in less than 4.5 years from their discovery and may do so in less than 3.5 years by the end of the next decade. These results suggest that ongoing review of the security risks associated with biotechnologies is needed to enable proactive development of mitigation policies and oversight systems.

Antibiotic Resistance and Breastfeeding: A neglected area of study

Antibiotic Resistance and Breastfeeding: A Neglected Area of Study

Research has shown that nursing mothers being treated with antibiotics expose their babies to sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics. Through an analysis of published literature, this paper explores whether this exposure may promote the development of antimicrobial resistance in babies. We conclude that research examining the potential effect of antibiotic use by nursing mothers on antimicrobial resistance in their babies is needed to improve efforts to reduce antibiotic resistance by reducing unnecessary or inappropriate antibiotic prescribing.

Gryphon’s Managing Director Publishes White Paper on the Need for Empirical Research in Biosafety as Part of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security

Gryphon’s Managing Director Publishes White Paper on the Need for Empirical Research in Biosafety as Part of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security

Dr. Rocco Casagrande, Gryphon’s managing director and an advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security, recently published a white paper with CSIS on the need for empirical research to support laboratory biosafety. In this paper, Dr. Casagrande argues that the life sciences have advanced much faster than our knowledge of biosafety, the practice and knowledge needed to prevent accidents in life science laboratories. Research is needed into how accidents occur and the effectiveness of training and equipment to prevent or mitigate accidents. Dr. Casagrande suggests that seminal research could be funded for merely $10M a year and that this research is best housed at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The Commission, co-chaired by former Senator Kelly Ayotte and Dr. Julie Geberding, former Director of CDC, aims to “chart a bold vision for the future of U.S. leadership in global health security at home and abroad.” Dr. Casagrande was appointed as an expert and advisor to the Commission in 2017.

Gryphon leads effort to develop a new Incident Response Framework for HHS/ASPR

Gryphon Leads Effort to Develop a New Incident Response Framework for HHS/ASPR

Gryphon Leads Effort to Develop a New Incident Response Framework for HHS/ASPR

Gryphon Scientific provided consultant support to lead the development of ASPR’s new Incident Response Framework. This Framework describes the organizational structure, functional roles and responsibilities, and operational concepts that form part of the ASPR organization’s overarching approach to all-hazards incident response and special event preparedness. As such, it forms the basis from which HHS/ASPR personnel, augmentees, and agency representatives internal and external to HHS will execute their assigned missions at the headquarters and field levels across the life-cycle of an incident or special event. This Framework also is intended to inform the development of various standard operating procedures (SOPs), incident reporting templates, position descriptions, position task books (PTBs), qualification and training programs, etc., corresponding to and aligning with the various coordinating structures identified in the document.

Assessing the Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement in China’s Biotechnology Development

Assessing the Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement in China's Biotechnology Development

Overview

In the past decade, China’s biotechnology industry has grown tremendously, fueled by Chinese government policies promoting the biotechnology sector as a driver of economic growth and increased foreign interaction with the U.S. and other countries. Gryphon Scientific, in partnership with Rhodium Group, performed an extensive investigation of China’s biotechnology industry and the role of U.S. companies in its development to assess the economic and security implications for the U.S. Our report provides a comprehensive look at a growing power in the global biotechnology industry and includes recommendations for specific steps to ensure continued vitality of the U.S. biotechnology industry and the security of our country.

In July 2019, Dr. Mark Kazmierczak provided expert testimony for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission hearing on exploring U.S. reliance on China's biotechnology and pharmaceutical products. Dr. Kazmierczak briefed the Commission on key findings and recommendations from Gryphon's report and answered questions on how China's advances in biotechnology applications in healthcare and other industries may affect the U.S. economy and national security.

Motivation

In the past decade, Chinese policy has placed an emphasis on the importance of biotechnology to the future economic growth of the country, and its biotechnology industry has seen tremendous growth. Much of this growth has come through increased foreign interaction with the U.S. and other countries, through investment, partnerships, and other business, scientific, and academic relationships. To identify potential economic and security ramifications to the U.S., we sought to identify what strategies Chinese biotechnology companies are using to acquire new technologies and relevant data, including U.S. healthcare-related data, and what increased competition from China could mean for the U.S. biotechnology industry.

Methods

Our approach was multi-faceted and drew on diverse data sources. Open source information was used to assess the current capabilities of China’s biotechnology industry and its likely future direction. We spoke to entrepreneurs and investors in the U.S. biotechnology industry to understand the current relationships between the two countries and the benefits and risks that collaboration and partnership may bring. Through our partner, Rhodium Group, we identified and analyzed China-based investments into U.S. biotechnology companies. Through analysis of these data streams, we assessed the potential risks to U.S. economic and national security and identified avenues through which the U.S. could secure its interests.

Results

China’s biotechnology prowess is growing at a tremendous rate, supported by policies and investments at the national and local levels. Our report describes the technologies and capabilities of Chinese biotechnology companies, their goals for growth and development, and the methods used to achieve them. With these activities in mind, an honest and objective look at the risks and benefits of growing interdependence of the U.S. and China follows, with recommendations for specific steps that could be taken to ensure continued vitality of the U.S. biotechnology industry and the security of our country.

Resources

The public report, “China’s Biotechnology Development: The Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement,” was released on February 14, 2019.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission testimony, “Exploring the Growing Reliance on China’s Biotech and Pharmaceutical Products,” was given on July 31, 2019.

Dual Use Risk Analysis Training Materials for Malaysian Life Scientists

Dual Use Risk Analysis Training Materials for Malaysian Life Scientists

Overview

These dual use case study materials were developed for use in dual use risk analysis training activities, and are free to modify and distribute under a Creative Commons License. Gryphon developed the materials in collaboration with Malaysia’s Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence (STRIDE), adapted from materials originally developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • GRYPHON STAFF | Dr. Gautham Venugopalan
  • PROJECT PARTNERS | Nancy Connell, Hopkins Center for Health Security; Malaysian Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence

Review of Cases of Occult Radiation Exposure and an Analysis of Time to Diagnosis

Review of Cases of Occult Radiation Exposure and an Analysis of Time to Diagnosis

Review of Cases of Occult Radiation Exposure and an Analysis of Time to Diagnosis

Does cutaneous radiation injury reduce the time to diagnosis in cases where radiation exposure is not known? This paper reviews eight cases of occult radiation exposures and examines the factors confounding or supporting accurate diagnoses.

Estimating Risk of Hematopoietic Acute Radiation Syndrome in Children

Estimating Risk of Hematopoietic Acute Radiation Syndrome in Children

Children are known to be more radiation sensitive than adults, but insufficient data are available to quantify this increased sensitivity. This paper develops ED50 for hemapoietic injury in children from radiation, allowing improved pediatric casualty estimates.

Modeling Cutaneous Radiation Injury from Fallout

Modeling Cutaneous Radiation Injury from Fallout

Modeling Cutaneous Radiation Injury from Fallout

This publication describes efforts to better estimate and understand human health outcomes following a nuclear event. Models were developed for cutaneous radiation injury from nuclear weapon fallout, including both ground-shine and direct skin contamination. These advanced injury models serve as a basis for future cutaneous injury studies.

Screening Internal Contamination of Inhaled and Ingested Radionuclides with Hand-held Survey Meters

Screening Internal Contamination of Inhaled and Ingested Radionuclides with Hand-held Survey Meters

Screening Internal Contamination of Inhaled and Ingested Radionuclides with Hand-held Survey Meters

Gryphon Scientific examined the detectability of internal contamination with radionuclides using external survey in Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code (MCNP) using sophisticated voxelized phantoms of the human body. Detectors were limited to hand-held survey meters to estimate the utility of external detection in mass-casualty incidents.