NEWS | Dec. 20, 2016

U.S. Department of Defense Expands Medical Countermeasure Capabilities

By Anthony Clark

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Nanotherapeutics Inc. celebrated the grand opening of the DoD Medical Countermeasures Advanced Development and Manufacturing (MCM ADM) capability, an advanced biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing facility, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Alachua, Florida, Dec. 7, 2016.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense, Dr. David Christian “Chris” Hassell, was among the dignitaries participating in the grand opening of DoD MCM ADMthe nation’s first facility dedicated for use by the DoD and biopharmaceutical industry partners to combat biological threats to U.S. Service members and the nation.

"The purpose and the capability of this facility is really fundamentally to avoid a surprise and be better prepared," said Chris Hassell. "Sixty years after Pearl Harbor we were surprised again with the anthrax mailings and other events of 9/11, so this whole issue of surprise is a common area of discussion. What we can do to avoid surprise, to defend it, to respond to it more effectively and to that end this facility is very important to our capability to do that."

The 180,000-square-foot facility, offering as many as four separate production lines, is a joint project of DoD’s Advanced Development and Manufacturing Capabilities program and Nanotherapeutics, a private drug development company in Alachua. By incorporating advances in disposable manufacturing equipment and a multiproduct capability, the DoD MCM ADM will be able to produce medical countermeasures more quickly and more effectively than other drug makers. Because the laboratories are Biosafety Level 3-capable (BSL-3-capable), scientists at the DoD MCM ADM can safely manufacture a number of products that require this high level of containment.

"We wanted to find a way to make better use of taxpayer dollars," said Douglas Bryce, Joint Program Executive Officer for Chemical and Biological Defense. "This was about how do we change from business as usual to something different and use cutting-edge processes and equipment to get our nation's warfighters what they need when they need it for a biological threat."

To learn more about the DoD MCM ADM and its unique manufacturing capabilities, contact Timothy Belski, Joint Product Director of the Advanced Development and Manufacturing Capabilities program within DoD’s Joint Project Manager Medical Countermeasure Systems, at