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Biosafety

Second IAG meeting in 2007 held in Moscow from 17-19 October

The International Advisory Group on Biosafety and Biosecurity (IAG) convened its second meeting for 2007 in Moscow from 17-19 October.  The series of events began with a reception on the night of the 17th at the House of Scientists.  A day of information exchange was held on 18 October at the Moscow Medical Academy's Scientific Research Institute of Pharmacy and was attended by more than 90 scientists.  The IAG business meeting took place on 19 October at the Rectorat building of the Moscow Medical Academy.  The IAG was pleased to give all participants on the 18th an inaugural copy of IAG News, glossary “Biosafety” (M.A. Paltsev, A.L. Gintsburg, N.N. Belushkina) and the other book ”Biosafety” (G.G. Onischenko, M.A. Paltsev, V.V. Zverev, A.A. Ivanov, V.I. Kiselev, S.V. Netesov, S.Eu. Severin, B.F. Semenov, V.P. Sergiev, S.N. Schelkunov).

 October 18, 2007

 During the information exchange, representatives from Rospotrebnadzor, UK Health Protection Agency, the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory, and the State Research Center of Virology & Biotechnology VECTOR, among others, discussed infectious disease identification, surveillance and treatment. 

 Raising awareness of national differences - and commonalities - in biosafety and biosecurity was another theme.  Presentations comparing biosafety and biosecurity laboratory practices according to Russian regulations, the WHO Laboratory Biosafety Manual and the U.S. manual titled “Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories” (BMBL).  Shipping practices and policies for biological materials in Russia and the UK were examined.  While many similarities emerged, participants welcomed the opportunity to share practices and information.  Emphasizing the contributions national biosafety associations can make was another important theme on the 18th.  The International Biosafety Working Group (IBWG), which acts as an information exchange forum for the national associations, was also discussed.

October 19, 2007

The IAG meeting began with remarks by its Co-Chairmen, Academician Mikhail Paltsev and Mr. Terence Taylor, HE Ralph Lysyshyn, the Canadian Ambassador to Russia and Julia Ananyina.  A moment of silence was observed for Dr. Beniamin Cherkassky, Academician RAMS and Head of lab for the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology, who passed away earlier this year. IAG members gave presentations on their participation at the European Biosafety Association (EBSA) meeting and the IAG meeting which followed. While at EBSA, IAG members received training on shipping materials safely and securely, which has become a topic of interest to the group. A member of the IAG subgroup on “Specific topics of Biosafety and Biosecurity” reported on its 5 June meeting at the State Research Center of Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology (SRCAMB), Obolensk. It was held under the leadership of the subgroup leader, Prof. Ivan Dyatlov, the Director of SRCAMB. The remaining portion of the meeting was dedicated to identifying future work plan ideas.  It was agreed that the group will meet once in 2008 and focus its attention on inter-sessional work.  Several ideas for inter-sessional work were proposed to the group.  A report summarizing the meeting and the actions members offered to take will be drafted by the IAG Co-Chairman for distribution to the group.

 

“Enhancing Biosafety and Biosecurity: an Agenda for Global Action. Seminar for Experts from the G-8 Countries” 18-19 April 2006

    

Experts from the G-8 countries convened in Moscow, at I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, Russia on April 18-19, 2006 for a seminar on promoting international cooperation to develop global standards for managing biological risks associated with advances in the life sciences. This year Russian for the first time will lead the international summit G8. One of the main topics will be infectious diseases. The International Council for the Life Sciences (ICLS) and the Council's Director, Mr. Terence Taylor, was the initiator of the seminar. The International Science and Technology Center, Global Partnership Program of Canada Government, the I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, and the Non Commercial Partnership “Center of Modern Medical Technologies” TEMPO” supported the initiative. Over 80 participants attended the seminar, among them Russian participants from 17 organizations and participants from USA, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Japan, France, UK. During the 2nd day, 23 representatives of mass media took a very active part: TV and radio, informational agencies, central press, and other mass media . The seminar was performed under the support of Global Partnership Program of Canada Government and the International Science and Technology Center. The organizers were the I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, the International Council for the Life Sciences and the Non Commercial Partnership “Center of Modern Medical Technologies” TEMPO” .

The seminar will support national governments and international organizations in their efforts to enhance biosafety and biosecurity to counter the biological risks faced by the public world-wide.

The day and a half Seminar brought together scientific experts, government officials and non-proliferation policy experts to discuss global biological risks and contributions from international cooperation The need for international standards permeated the seminar discussion.

The agenda for the day and a half Seminar had sessions covering

  • Global Standards in Biosafety and Biosecurity;
  • Raising Awareness: Contributions from Training, Education Curricula and Other Outreach Activities;
  • Perspectives on Biological Risk Assessment;
  • The Infectious Disease Challenge – Averting Biological Disasters; and
  • Enhancing Global Biological Safety and Security through G-8 Leadership.

 

 The seminar was opened by Dr. Mikhail Paltsev, Seminar Chairman, Rector, I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, Academician of Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (RAMS), RAMS first vice-president, Chairman of NP TEMPO Scientific Technical Council, Mr. Terence Taylor, Seminar Co-Chairman, Director of the International Council for the Life Sciences and President of the Board of Directors, and Dr. Ronald F. Lehman, II, Chairman of the Governing Board of the International Science & Technology Center. Dr. Paltsev outlined that the Moscow Medical Academy (MMA) has already positioned itself as an organizer of two international conferences “Molecular Medicine and Biosecurity”, providing a forum for the discussions on applied and fundamental research performed by Russian and international scientists in such areas as medicine, molecular biology, oncology, infectious diseases, and biotechnology. According to Dr. M. A. Paltsev the discussion was focused on these issues mostly in view of the concerns and interests expressed by the entire community to biosafety/biosecurity and terrorism challenge. The Government and President are also aware of the importance of this task. Academician M. A. Paltsev made the following suggestions: to expand cooperation between international experts; make arrangements for exchanging information on biosafety/biosecurity among state agencies, non-governmental and research institutions; establish national systems for predicting and protecting against emerging and re-emerging infections; create an international glossary; develop international standards for biological risks assessment; and, to introduce relevant training/educational programs. Dr. Paltsev emphasized that the practical recommendations, which will be elaborated by G8 experts, are to be submitted for the G8 summit. In addition, Academician Paltsev stated that the tradition of discussing significant biosafety and biosecurity issues would be followed on within the framework of the Russian Medical Forum to be held in October 2006.

Mr. Taylor emphasized that national and international governmental organisations need the proactive support of the academic and private sectors in the effort to advance standards in a fast-moving scientific and technological area. The aim of this seminar and its agenda fits exactly the mission of the International Council for the Life Sciences which is “to help ensure global public health, safety, and security by safeguarding the opportunities offered by advances in the life sciences and their application through the promotion of best practices, standards, and codes of conduct”. The ICLS's purpose is to engage all sectors of the life science community in academia, private industry and national and international governmental organizations from around the world in support of this mission.

Dr. Lehman stated that biosafety and biosecurity are issues now vital to all mankind. Practical solutions, however, are increasingly linked to the very issues that this seminar has been tasked to address; namely, biological risks, global standards, and international cooperation. The magnitude of the emerging challenges fully warrants the G-8 focus, and, given the Russian Presidency as we head toward the St. Petersburg Summit in July, meeting here in the Russian Federation is most appropriate. This seminar is timely also for reasons more fundamental even a meeting of world leaders. We are in dramatically revolutionary period in terns of: (1) advances in science, (2) political, social, and economic change, and (3) the connectivity, interdependence, and shared vulnerabilities of globalization. Thus, the sharing of best practices in biosafety and biosecurity will be essential for all of our countries to work together effectively to maximize our mutual benefits from the biological revolution, be they economic, or health, or knowledge.

 

The 1st day of the seminar was devoted to four main key issues:

·        Global Standards in Biosafety and Biosecurity

·        Raising Awareness: Contributions from Training, Education Curricula and Other Outreach Activities

·        Perspectives on Biological Risk Assessment

·        The Infectious Disease Challenge – Averting Biological Disasters

 

The following presentations were made and discussed:

Dr. Julia Ananyina, professor, Deputy Director, N.F. Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology & Microbiology, Russian view on biosafety challenges

Dr Rainer Wessel, CEO, GANYMED Pharmaceuticals AG and member of the Board of Directors for BIO Deutschland, Challenges to industry from the lack of global standards

Dr. Boris Naroditsky, professor, Deputy Director, N.F. Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology & Microbiology, GMM and biosafety issues

Dr. Yuri Remnev, Deputy Director, Non-Commercial Partnership TEMPO, Educational Program on Biosafety

Ms. Maureen Ellis, Senior Biosafety Advisor, Biological Non-Proliferation, Global Partnership Program, Foreign Affairs Canada

Regional Training Centers for Biosafety and Biosecurity

Dr. Valentin Evstegneev, Deputy Executive Director, JSC “Biopreparat”

Conception of acceptable risk for assessment of biosafety system

Tim Brooks, Novel and Dangerous Pathogens, Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Porton Down, UK Perspective on Biological Risk Assessment

Dr. Vitaly Zverev, Academician RAMS, Director, Institute of vaccines and serum,

Vaccines as the part of protection system against new biological threats

Dr. Beniamin Cherkassky, Academician RAMS, Head of lab, Central Research Institute of Epidemiology, Emerging infections: prevention and control

 During the Plenary Session on 19th April, “The Infectious Disease Challenge – Averting Biological Disasters”, the following presentations were made on the issues of avian flu, bacterial infections, and the system of international respond on prevention and control of infectious diseases, and got the most interest from auditoria:

Dr. Dmitry Lvov, Academician RAMS, Director, D.I. Ivanovsky Institute of Virology, and the Head of Chair of Virology, I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy

Causes and consequences of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 strain spread into Russia

Dr. Oleg Kiselev, Academician RAMS, Director, Institute of Influenza

XX-XXI centuries' pandemics and biosafety challenges

Dr. Ingegerd Kallings, Senior Medical Officer, Biosafety Advisor, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control

Global Response to Infectious Disease Threat

Dr. Sergey Netesov, Corresponding member RAS, Deputy Director, SRC V&B Vector, Dr. I.G. Drozdov, professor, Director, SRC V&B Vector, Dr. G.G. Onischenko, Academician RAMS, Head of Federal Service for Surveillance in Consumer Rights Protection & Human Well-Being

     Emerging viral infections in the Asian Russia

Dr. Ivan Dyatlov, professor, Director, State Research Center of Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology

     Advanced research in detection, prevention and treatment of new and emerging bacterial infections

                                                                                                         

The participants from different Russian and G8 countries were attended the discussion: the I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, State Research Center of Virology & Biotechnology “Vector”, State Research Center of Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology, D.I. Ivanovsky Institute of Virology, N.F. Institute of Epidemiology & Microbiology, Central Institute of Epidemiology, Anti-plague Institute “Microbe”, JSC “Biopreparat”, Institute of Vaccines and Serum, ICLS, Agency of Health Protection (UK), Agency of Health of Canada, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, etc.

The Working Group (WG) was formed during the 1st day of the seminar aimed at elaboration of recommendations on Enhancing Biological Safety and Security with Global Standards & International Collaboration.

The members of the WG were:

1. Dr. Àlexandr Gintsburg, Vice-president RAMS, Director, N.F. Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology & Microbiology

2. Dr. Julia Ananyina, professor, Deputy Director, N.F. Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology & Microbiology,

 

3. Mr. Terence Taylor, Director of the International Council for the Life Sciences and President of the Board of Directors

4. Dr. Ivan Dyatlov, professor, Director, State Research Center of Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology, Obolensk

5. Mrs. Maureen Ellis, Senior Biosafety Advisor, Senior Biosafety Advisor, Biological Non-Proliferation, Global Partnership Program, Foreign Affairs Canada

6. Dr. Heather Sheeley, Manager of Health & Safety Manager of Health and Safety, Health Protection Agency, UK

7. Dr. Ingegerd Kallings, Senior Medical Officer, Biosafety Advisor, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control

The Working Group had a separate meeting, discussing the issues of biosafety and biosecurity, and further steps in enhancing and finally elaborated the following recommendations :

 

1. Enhancing international cooperation in developing scientific research in the field of  biosafety and biosecurity to support evidence-based constructive solutions.

2. Developing training programs in biosafety and biosecurity in accordance with global standards.

3. Developing an International Panel of Experts, based, inter alia, on “groups of excellence”, (National Centers, WHO CC, WHO experts) to create information exchange mechanism between  making decisions state organizations, nongovernmental and scientific organizations in the field of biosafety and biosecurity. 

 4. Creating an International Expert Group on developing international glossary on biosafety/biosecurity terminology.

5. Developing common methodological approach on science-based

      - assessment of biological risks for human health and well-being

      - biosafety and biosecurity  in  all types of biological laboratories.

6. Developing national systems that could be integrated into global geoinformation systems (GIS) on data analysis for prognosis, monitoring and preventing introduction and expanding emerging and re-emerging diseases.

In order to engender action without delay on these recommendations in the academic, governmental and private sectors, the co-chairs invite to support the life sciences community by joining in setting up international, multidisciplinary action groups focused on the above issues to support national governments and international organizations in the efforts to enhance biosafety and biosecutity to counter the biological risks faced by the public world-wide.

 

Opening the 2nd day of the Seminar, Academician Paltsev outlined the recommendations from the previous day's discussion, which call for the development of training and educational programs in line with international standards, groups of excellence consisting of international experts - WHO collaborating centres and others - to create a mechanism to share information, an international glossary for biosafety and biosecurity, and international standards to assess biological risks for human health. The discussion on biosafety and biosecurity problems will be continued at the International Seminar entitled “Biosecurity and biosafety: theory and practice” to be held in the frame of “Russian Medical Forum” in Moscow on 19 October 2006.

 

 The International Workshop “Bioterrorism: Possible Objects for Affection and Counteraction Methods”  has been successfully held on October 19 and 21 in Moscow, at Moscow Medical Academy named by I.M. Sechenov (see photo session). 18 experts from USA, Canada, Japan, China, Sweden, and United Kingdom were participated, representing different research institutes, public and governmental organizations. More than 150  participants from leading biomedical Russain research institutes, public, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as from different Russian cities, as Moscow and Moscow Region, St. Petersburg, Saratov, Novosibirsk, Kirov, have attended.

 The list of the main presentations, have been made at the International Workshop “Bioterrorism: Possible Objects for Affection and Counteraction Methods":

  •  Don P. Bourque, BioIndustry Initiative (BII) Program, US Department of State, “National Biosafety System in the USA”
  • Stephen Morse, National Center of Infectious Diseases (CDC), Atlanta, “Public Health Response to Bioterrorism: Lessons Learned from the Anthrax Attacks of 2001” –
  • Raphael Della Ratta, Consortium of Conversion of Russian Nuclear Weapon Complex, “Bioterrorism Threats in XX1 Century”
  • Martin Sanders, National Institutes of Health, USA, “Biosafety in Microbiological Labs”
  • Y. Mizunoe, Department of Bacteriology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Japan, “Biosafety and VBNC microorganisms”
  • Song Tieying, China, “Characteristic analysis of subcellular components in Aeromonas hydrophila pathogenic strains”
  • Howard Fields, National Center of Infectious Diseases (CDC), Atlanta, “Blood safety panels”
  • Roger Roffey, Swedish Defense Research Agency, Stockholm, Sweden, “The Need for Control and Security to Prevent Bioterrorism”
  • Sergey Netesov, Lev Sandakhchiev, State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology “Vector”, Koltsovo, “New International Initiatives in Improvement of Biosafety and Biosecurity Regulations for Laboratories, Working with Infectious Agents”
  •  M. Lyapin, N. DrosdovÌ.Ëÿïèí, Antiplague Institute “Microb”, Saratov, “Biosafety – the area of special knowledge”
  • V. Kutyrev, A. Kulichenko, Antiplague Institute “Microb”, Saratov, “Multilevel indication and identification system for severe infections”
  • N. Osin, SRI of Biological Instrument Making, “Up-to-date Technical Means in Indication and Laboratory Diagnostics for Biosafety Ensuring”
  • G. Lepeshkin, «RAZEM», Kirov, «Biosafety Ensuring of Microbiological Objects”

Press-conference was held in the frame of the Workshop on 19 October. 43 journalists from different TV, radio and publishing agencies participated. Academician Paltsev opened the meeting, saying that the "problem of biosafety is very  important one. The special governmental committee on Federal program on biological and chemical safety has been created, so efforts of many people  were united under the problem of biosafety and bioterrorism".

The following participants were attended:

  • Don P. Bourque, BioIndustry Initiative (BII) Program, US Department of State
  • Susanna Partridge, BTEP Program Director, DHHS, USA
  • Sergey Netesov, State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology “Vector”, Koltsovo
  • Roger Roffey, Swedish Defense Research Agency, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Stephen Morse, National Center of Infectious Diseases (CDC), Atlanta
  • Yuri Remnev, Deputy Director, Non Commercial Partnership "Center of Modern Medical Technologies "TEMPO"
  • Mikhail Kiselev, Deputy Director of Federal medico-biological agency
  • Eugene Severin, General Director of All-Russian Center of Molecular Diagnostics & Therapy 
© Center of Modern Medical Technology TEMPO, 2005
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