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ATCC Announces Award from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to Develop Well-characterized Challenge Material of BSL-3 and BSL-4 Viruses

News Release
ATCC Building

ATCC will support NIAID by optimizing pathogenic organisms’ growth, production, and distribution for therapeutic development.

Manassas, VA, United States

March 14, 2022

ATCC, the world’s premier biological materials management and standards organization, today announced that it has been awarded a task order contract, with a ceiling value of $1.9 million, by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to develop well-characterized challenge material (WCCM) for therapeutic development. ATCC will provide well-characterized Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) and BSL-4 viruses of public health concern, including those of pandemic or epidemic potential, to assist in developing medical countermeasures. 

ATCC will be contributing to NIAID’s mission of more than six decades to support the development of novel therapeutics and biological inhibitors to combat infectious diseases. In the initial stages of product development, scientists evaluate investigational antiviral candidates for activity against well-characterized virus classes developed under strict controls and quality standards. Viruses with epidemic or pandemic potential require extensive investigational research toward the development of therapeutics. They are likely to undergo genetic alterations in cell culture and the in vivo models, leading to virion heterogeneity. There is a critical need to improve production capacity while ensuring genomic homogeneity through well-characterized challenge material (WCCM) in therapeutic product development.

“As a recognized expert in producing critical, gold-standard biological materials for the research community, ATCC is extremely qualified to support NIAID’s therapeutic development needs by providing researchers with well-characterized BLS-3 and BSL-4 viral pathogens for therapeutic testing,” said Raymond H. Cypess, D.V.M., Ph.D., chairman and CEO of ATCC. “We are committed to improving global health by giving scientists the products, services, and resources they need to succeed.”

This project is being funded in whole or in part under NIAID contract #75N93019D00002 under the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID) In Vitro Assessment of Antimicrobial Activity (IVAAA) program. The IVAAA program provides a broad range of in vitro assessment capabilities to evaluate possible candidate countermeasures against microbial pathogens and vectors that allow the NIAID to respond to public health needs and emergencies. Under this task order, ATCC will perform studies to optimize in vitro propagation of the viruses, develop WCCM that meets or exceeds quality control parameters, and vial and store the WCCM for NIAID.

“With this award, ATCC continues its support for clinical research and therapeutic development by providing expertise in acquiring, characterization, and storing BSL-3 and BSL-4 viruses,” said Joseph Leonelli, Ph.D., senior vice president of ATCC Federal Solutions. “We look forward to working with NIAID on this important public health initiative.” 

About ATCC

ATCC is a premier global biological materials and information resource and standards organization and the leading developer and supplier of authenticated cell lines, microorganisms, and associated data for academia, industry, and government. With a history of scientific contributions spanning nearly a century, ATCC offers an unmatched combination of being the world’s largest and most diverse collection of biological reference materials and data, and is a mission-driven, trusted partner that supports and encourages scientific collaboration. ATCC products, services, partnerships, and people provide the global scientific community with credible, advanced, model systems to support complex research and innovations in basic science, drug discovery, translational medicine, and public health. ATCC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with headquarters in Manassas, Virginia, and a research and technology center of excellence in Gaithersburg, Maryland. 

Contact: Kim Testa, senior director, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, ATCC, [email protected]