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The Dawning of the Life Sciences Defense Industry

Executive Summary

To former SmithKline Beecham R&D head George Poste, the engagement of government and industry to combat biothreats is not a matter of choice or even enlightened self-interest, but an imperative. For the past five years, he has been participating in the activities of the US Defense Science Board and engaging industry on the subject of bioterrorism and the broader issue of the spread of infectious disease. In an extensive interview with IN VIVO, he argues for creation of a life sciences defense industry--a closer and deeper relationship between government and the private sector that will mean a loss of innocence for the historically open life sciences culture. And he says government must address the lack of adequate incentives, which has discouraged private-sector participation in the past.

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