The following roundup is based on recently awarded federal contracts or official notices of intent to issue an award. While the periodic acquisition of laboratory, medical or CBRN equipment and support services is commonplace, we selectively cover these activities for insight into the acquisition and mission priorities of organizations as well as the competitive landscape for suppliers.
NIAID Award for Development of Radiation Countermeasures
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded the following contracts under a Broad Agency Announcement for Enhanced Platelet Regeneration after Radiation Exposure:
- $6,222,743 to Duke University
- $5,544,363 to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Discovery and Development of Filovirus Therapeutics
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) intends to negotiate and award a sole source follow-on contract to the University of Virginia (UVA). This is follow-on research which focuses on the discovery and development of medical countermeasures against Filovirus Ebola.
UVA has developed a unique model/platform to screen for inhibitors of six separate Ebola Zaire protein targets. The research has developed a screening platform and has demonstrated utility and proof of concept for Ebola by identifying some preliminary inhibitory leads for optimization.
This innovative screening platform has identified small molecule hits against multiple Ebola targets. The follow-on effort will prioritize a variety of criteria, subjected to medicinal chemistry and compound optimization and analyzed by x-ray crystallography as a means of designing highly potent inhibitors for in vitro and animal testing. The end product of this research effort is a therapeutic antiviral candidate.
FBI Award for Forensic DNA Analytical Reagents
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) intends to award a firm fixed-price, indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, with a base year and four 1-year option periods to Life Technologies Corporation of Carlsbad, CA.
Life Technologies is the only company that can provide the requested DNA analytical reagents, consumables and FBI installed replacement parts not covered under any warranty. These include: Profiler Plus ID amplification kit, Cofiler amplification kit, Identifiler amplification kit, 3130 XL Capillary Electrophoresis consumables, and 3730 Capillary Electrophoresis consumables, repair parts such as new syringes or buffer vials.
The reagents and consumables from Life Technologies underwent an extensive developmental validation. The validation studies were done as mandated by the Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories and Convicted Offender DNA Databasing Laboratories issued by the FBI Director, as well as the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors. The Laboratory Division is unable to use any other reagents or consumables as Life Technologies is the only supplier currently FBI validated kits.
The proposed action is for the reagents and consumables that are necessary for the DNA processing of casework evidence, missing persons cases, and DNA Database samples. In addition to requiring these reagents and consumables for casework processing, these items are also needed by the Counterterrorism Forensic Science Research Unit (CFSRU) for research projects in support of the LD.
The FBI’s National DNA Index System (NDIS) board has currently approved only two major vendors in the area of DNA typing kits: Life Technologies & Promega. DNA typing kits contain the necessary reagents to allow for a DNA profile to be developed from DNA database samples and/or crime scene evidence. Only Federal, State, and Local law enforcement laboratories can participate in Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
Only these laboratories that use one of the kits manufactured by these companies can have their DNA profiles generated from Forensic cases and DNA Database samples uploaded into NDIS. Once these profiles are in NDIS, they are searched against other profiles in the hope to solve previously unsolved crimes as well as provide investigative information to current unsolved cases. Before going online with the typing kits manufactured by Life Technologies, an intensive developmental validation was performed.
NIAID Vaccine Development Award to PaxVax
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded $14,924,087 to PaxVax, Inc. of San Diego, Ca. for the Staged Vaccine Development of Advenovirus-4 Vectored Vaccine under BAA-NIAID-DAIDS-NIHAI2012151.
DARPA Biological Technologies BAA Awards
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s newly formed Biological Technologies Office (BTO) has made the following awards under the new BTO Broad Agency Announcement for revolutionary advances in biological technologies:
- $427,088.00 to Open Source Robotics Foundation, Inc.
- $331,509 to Roboti, LLC
DARPA ADEPT Dx Program Award
CureVac GmbH was awarded $2,836,315 under the Autonomous Diagnostics to Enable Prevention and Therapeutics (ADEPT) program by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
EOD/UXO Enhanced Detection and Discrimination
The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineering Research and Development Center – Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (ERDC-CRREL) intends to make a sole source award to Kevin O’Neill for ongoing research in the field of enhanced detection and discrimination of unexploded ordinance:
The contractor shall devise upward projection schemes for the purpose of clutter suppression. This will include the evaluation of data requirements and of signal-to-noise ration and clutter suppression benefits, and the formulation and feasibility of application to monostatic instruments by decomposition into single field bases or other methods.
The innovation in upward projection of monostatic sensor data is the decomposition of both excitations (primary fields) and responses (secondary fields) into superpositions of unvarying single fields, each of which can legitimately be continued upwards. The deliverable is a written report.
DLA Medical Supply Contracts
Arthrex Inc., of Naples, Florida, has been awarded a maximum $255,000,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for medical items and accessories. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and 58 offers were received. This is a five-year base contract with no option periods.
Location of performance is Florida with an Aug. 28, 2019 performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2014 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE2DH-14-D-0003).
A-Dec Inc., of Newberg, Oregon, has been awarded a maximum $48,250,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for medical items and accessories. This contract was a competitive acquisition and 58 offers were received. This is a five-year base contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Oregon with an Aug. 28, 2019, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2014 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE2DH-14-D-0005).
Dove Medical Supply LLC, of Summerfield, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $25,000,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for various laboratory supplies. This contract was a competitive acquisition and five offers were received. This is a one-year base contract, with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is North Carolina, with an Aug. 25, 2015, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE2DE-14-D-0005).
Dental Health Products Inc., of New Franken, Wisconsin, has been awarded a maximum $9,250,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for dental and medical equipment. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and 58 offers were received. This is a five-year base contract, with no option periods. Location of performance is Wisconsin, with an Aug. 25, 2019, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE2DH-14-D-0006).
Immunology Quality Assessment Program (IQA)
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded $13,902,589 (including base plus all options) to Duke University Medical Center.
The requirement is for an Immunology Quality Assessment Program (IQA) to ensure reliable laboratory data important for the meaningful interpretation of therapeutic and prevention clinical trials/studies and for the appropriate management of subjects enrolled in these studies.
The purpose of the IQA is to continue and provide a resource to (1) evaluate the abilities of U.S. and non-U.S. laboratories to accurately and reliably perform study-specified immunological tests (with focus on CD4 and CD8 T cell lymphocyte counts and percentages) and viable PBMC freezing, (2) advise and train when deficiencies are identified, (3) evaluate immunology-based novel technologies (with focus on novel, simple tests for diagnosis and disease monitoring) for implementation in multi-site NIAID trials, and (4) maintain a computerized data management system and document library that include lab performance data and guidance documents.
The period of performance will be for one base year with six option years.
Natick Award for PCR Instrument
The U.S. Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Proving Ground, Natick Contracting Division, has a requirement for an Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real Time PCR Instrument with Laptop. The Government intends to negotiate on a sole source basis with Life Technologies Corporation.
This Real Time PCR platform is required for use with US CDC Influenza detection protocol. Research involving human use requires specific, detailed standard operation procedures (SOPs) to be developed and approved by Naval Medical Research Center and the Cambodian National Ethics Committee for Health Research Institutional Review Boards (IRB).
These protocols support ongoing multi-year studies (4 to 6 years on average) and were adapted from scientific literature and historical experiments. As part of these approved protocols the specific equipment and manufacturer is specified and must remain the same due to manufacturer to manufacturer variations in formulations. In addition, Life Technologies Corporation is the only vendor who produces and sells the needed PCR System that matches the requirement. A change in vendors would require re-development of equipment and re-certification/compliance with DON-HRPP and IRB regulations.
Countering Biological Threats Study
Washington Headquarters Services has awarded $420,829 to the National Academy of Sciences (NRC) to establish a standing committee to assist DOD efforts to decrease the risk of and counter biological threats.
USAISR Award – Antimicrobial Peptides in Wound Healing
The United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA), Fort Detrick, Maryland in support of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) has awarded a firm-fixed price, level-of-effort term contract to the University of Miami.
Under the contemplated service, the University of Miami-Medical Research Administration will conduct a research study to determine the effectiveness of novel antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) at reducing the biofilm load in wounds and improving healing.
Specifically, the University of Miami will use its unique porcine wound model to study biofilm-impaired wound healing and to evaluate anti-biofilm treatments. Unique features of the model distinguish it from other pig and small animal biofilm models:
- Quantification of healing parameters including viable bacterial counts, epithelialization and granulation tissue formation. Similar results to human results for biofilm treatments such as the prescription topical Mupirocin Ointment, and over-the-counter topical Triple antibiotic Ointment.
- Reproducibility and adaptability for testing anti-biofilm agents using multiple topical antibiotic delivery platforms such as polymers, gels, and dressing.
- Has been used extensively for the past 8-10 years by pharmaceutical industries.
- Considered the industry standard for testing new investigational antimicrobial/antibiofilm agents.
Effects of Engineered Anthrax Study
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease intends to negotiate on a sole source basis with Tufts University Cummings for the procurement of “Effects of Engineered Anthrax” research.
The Microbial Pathogenesis Section in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases (LPD) has an ongoing collaboration to perform a veterinary clinical trial at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals (FHSA) at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and requires funds to support the work of government collaborators for a period of one year.
Collaborative work will be performed to assess the safety and efficacy of an engineered anthrax toxin when used to treat feline oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). OSCC is a common cancer affecting older cats; the prognosis for this disease is poor even with aggressive treatment involving surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. It is therefore important to develop new strategies to treat this disease.
Towards this effort, they have developed a new anti-tumor agent based on the mechanism of anthrax lethal toxin. Anthrax lethal toxin is composed of two separate proteins: protective antigen (PrAg) and lethal factor (LF). An engineered version of anthrax lethal toxin selectively kills tumor cells. The engineered PrAg only allows LF to enter cells when specific proteins are present. These engineered PrAgs are activated by proteins that are found in high amounts on tumor cells but in low amounts on normal cells. One of these activating proteins is urokinase (uPA), a protease. The other activating proteins are matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), also proteases. We refer to our engineered anthrax toxin which requires both uPA and MMP for activation as “Intercomplementing Toxin.”
Intercomplementing Toxin can be used to effectively reduce tumor size, or eliminate tumors completely, in a variety of tumors grown on mice, including human OSCC tumors. The current goal is to develop an effective treatment strategy for feline OSCC that involves the use of this engineered anthrax toxin.
In ongoing studies with the Foster Hospital for Small Animals (FHSA) at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine we are performing a Phase-0 trial, which has shown that the intercomplementing toxin appears to be well-tolerated in feline veterinary patients and can induce tumor stasis or tumor shrinkage.
The researchers will now do a follow-up Phase 1-2 clinical trial with the Intercomplementing Toxin to establish the maximum tolerated dose, and to establish the dose-limiting toxicity and therapeutic potential towards feline oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Lyopholization of Malaria Multiplex
The United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA), Fort Detrick, MD intends to issue a sole source award utilizing Simplified Acquisition Procedures to BioGX, Inc., of Birmingham, Alabama.
Non-personal support services are required for lyopholization of Malaria Multiplex Sample ready PCR (MMSR) assay. BioGX has a proprietary formulation for their DNA polymerase enzyme, the formulation is important for the project because it is needed to catalyze the PCR reaction. The primers and probes used by the government have been optimized for this DNA polymerase formulation.
NIAID Award to Illumina
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) intends to negotiate on other than full and open competition the purchase for a MiSeq NextSetq System from Illumina Inc., of San Diego, Ca.
This system uses the same TrueSeq sequencing reagents and compatible sample preparation and sequencing library qualification reagents currently in use with the organization’s Illumina HiScan-SQ.
For continuity in data quality and laboratory techniques to support ongoing projects of researches, they require a system that uses Illumina SBS (sequencing by synthesis) chemistry and reagents. Changing variables at this time would result in incorrect interpretation of the experiments in progress.
DoD Forensic Toxicology Lab
The U.S. Army intends to award a sole source to Agilent Technologies, of Wilmington, Delaware for the purchase of Agilent equipment consumables to work in conjunction with existing Agilent Instruments in the Forensic Toxicology Laboratory at Dover, AFB.
The current Agilent instruments have been validated and mandated by American Board of Forensic Toxicology.
Defense Forensic Science Center
The U.S. Army will award a sole source to Life Technologies Corporation for the purchase of HID ION PGM System that has been validated and employed at the facility in Dover AFB.
This system and reagents will help support the DoD Next Generation Genomic Analysis (NGAA) Research, Development, and Integration working group and to support ongoing interactions with the Defence Forensic Science Center by allowing the same instruments to be assessed across multiple DoD Agencies aiding in unifying and streamlining the Dod’s integration of next generation sequencers.
TruDefender Chemical Identification System
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Rocky Mountain Laboratories, is seeking to purchase a handheld hazardous chemical identification system.
The required system is the TruDefender FTXi S1, model 800-03071-01. The salient characteristics include light weight design (3.12 lbs.) and small dimensional features for easy transport and use for field testing, spectral range 4000 cm-650 cm, solid diamond crystal attenuated total reflection (ATR) optics, SPC, text, and JPEG compatible data port, rechargeable long life (4 hours) battery and external power supply, operating temperature of -4 degrees F-104 degrees F, and tested for MIL-STD-810G and IP67 certification for durability for field testing.
This unit is required by Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) because the system meets the minimum requirements for detection and identification of potential hazardous materials by the HazMat team on RML campus.
The compact, lightweight design is necessary for portability by all HazMat team members and the technical specifications are required for accurate and reliable detection and identification of potential dangerous materials on RML campus.
Infrastructure Resilience Metrics for IED Incidents
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Office of University Programs (OUP) will award $150,000 to Northeastern University.
The project will investigate some of the practical challenges and barriers that have served as disincentives for investing post-disaster recovery funds into making changes that would bolster infrastructure resilience in the face of future disasters such as Improvised Explosive Device (IED) type events.
It will then analyze and prepare case studies for hypothetical man made (explosions) and natural hazard (hurricanes/floods) scenarios subject to various input conditions such as geographic location, type of infrastructure, size of explosion/storm, and other parameters.
Task Order HSHQDC-14-J-00421 was awarded to Northeastern University against existing Basic Ordering Agreement Number HSHQDC-10-A-BOA30.
USAMRICD Award for Cyanide Countermeasures
The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA) intends to issue a single source award to Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) of San Antonio, Texas. Southwest Research Acquisition Activity research standards are consistent with those of the US government, and they have demonstrated expertise in the development of cyanide countermeasures.
The total award amount, including options, is estimated to be $75,000.00. This procurement is for SWRI to develop an improved, more stable formulation of dimethyl trisulfide that can be administered intramuscularly for the US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense.
NSWC Dahlgren Award for JECP Accreditation
The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD), intends to procure on a sole source basis a Joint Expeditionary Collective Protection (JECP) System Performance Model Accreditation Plan Phase II from Innovative Management Concept, Inc. of Sterling, Virginia.
Research has indicated that Innovative Management Concept, Inc., possesses extensive experience and knowledge in preparing software accreditation and has performed this effort on previous efforts.
Sources: FedBizOpps, Defense.gov