An HHS official says his seemingly minor gardening mishap shows why the government should learn who out there has technology to identify infections early and fight off sepsis, a life-threatening reaction to infection.
Rick Bright, head of HHS’ Biomedical Advances Research and Development Authority (BARDA), cut the side of his thumb while tending to his garden. The area began to swell, but he didn’t think much about it at first. After it festered for a few days, he sought treatment and discovered the situation was more serious that it first seemed.
“It sent me to the hospital,” Bright told me at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s annual conference in Boston. “This was in many layers of tissues and spreading up my arm. [Doctors] scheduled surgery to slice my thumb open or off because it took five days to the culture the bacteria and two more days to understand which drug worked.”
He says he was hours away from becoming septic. Sepsis, an inflammatory response to an infection that can lead to organ failure, kills 250,000 people each year and is responsible for a third of all hospital deaths.
Bright’s episode happened three weeks ago. This week he and his boss, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, announced a new BARDA division that will scour the startup world to find solutions to health security risks. The first two risks on the agenda are now very familiar to Bright: identifying infectious diseases before symptoms arise and fighting off sepsis.
“[W]e don’t have systems to tell me I was infected,” he said, “and infected with something bad.”
It was an eerie coincidence for Bright, who will oversee the new office, the Division of Research, Innovation, and Venture (DRIVe). HHS says DRIVe will work with business accelerators around the country that can identify startups working on technologies BARDA can use. BARDA works with the private sector to develop and acquire medical countermeasures, such as vaccines, that typically don’t have a large commercial market.
Read my story on the DRIVe announcement here.
Stay on top of new developments in health law and regulation, and learn more, by signing up for a free trial to Bloomberg Law.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)