Preparing for the Next Pandemic: JPM CBRN Medical and the Defense Innovation Unit Join Forces

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February 21, 2023 | Originally published by Defense Innovation Unit on February 15, 2023

MOUNTAIN VIEW (February 15, 2023)—Over the last 19 years, four highly distinct respiratory viruses precipitated deadly human epidemics and pandemics—namely, the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak and the three COVID-19 waves. The likelihood that a new and equally virulent respiratory virus will spread again is high. Notwithstanding, our existing countermeasures are not suited to prevent similar mass-casualty events. Respiratory viruses can spread rapidly, and the risk of infection is heightened in close quarters as well as in unique environments faced by Warfighters.

The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), collaborating with the Joint Project Manager for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Medical (JPM CBRN Medical) under the Vaccine Acceleration by Modular Progression (VAMP) program, announces the launch of “Project Panacea.” This 18-month project is focused on prototyping a small-molecule nasal spray as prophylaxis for a variety of respiratory diseases, including novel viruses and emerging variants of existing viruses.

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