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DTRA Extends MRIGlobal Mobile Lab Support in West Africa

Notable CBRN and Biodefense Contracts

This U.S. Department of Defense is awarding a contract extension to MRIGlobal for continued operations and sustainment support for two deployed Mobile Diagnostic Laboratories in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The contract, which supports efforts to improve biosurveillance capacities in Western Africa, is overseen by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and United States Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction on behalf of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP).

To provide EVD testing capacity in Guinea and Sierra Leone, CBEP last year provided one transportable laboratory in each of the two countries and MRI Global staffing to maintain the laboratory and conduct EVD diagnostics.

In Sierra Leone, CBEP anticipated that laboratory activities and diagnostic sample volumes would decrease following attainment of ‘Ebola-free’ status, and equipment and partial laboratory activities could be transitioned into the Central Public Health Reference Laboratory (CPHRL) in Sierra Leone that is being renovated by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It was anticipated that the transition could occur by the end date of the MRI Global contract, 27 December 2015.

Unfortunately, the renovations for the CPHRL could not be completed in time to allow for the transition. CBEP intends to extend the MRIGlobal contract to account for risk, to allow for acquisition activities to transition these requirements under a competitive process, while continuing support to the diagnostics.

ln Guinea, CBEP plans for Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) to temporarily cover operational requirements were delayed last fall, prompting further extensions to MRIGlobal until CBEP completes a new competed contract mechanism for support to these activities.

Given these unforeseen delays in both Sierra Leone and Guinea, the contract extension to MRIGlobal provides for continued critical operational support of the mobile CBEP laboratories during development and execution of a plan to transition these capabilities.

The period of performance will be six months with a three-month option period, and the total estimated not to exceed price of the sole-source contract extension (HDTRA1-15-C-0007– P00017), with all options, is $13,913,121.

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