WASHINGTON, July 21 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., Wednesday applauded President Bush's signing of the Project BioShield law for developing antibiotics and vaccines.
BioShield encourages private companies to develop bioterrorism countermeasures such as tests, therapeutics and vaccines by guaranteeing that the U.S. government will purchase them if the treatments are proven effective.
"The overall aim -- cutting through the limits on translating research into effective treatments and cures," Lieberman said at a conference for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Lieberman also discussed his proposal for a BioShield II bill, which he said would speed research by offering financial incentives and protections for the bio-defense industry.
He also proposed creating an American Center for Cures, connected with the National Institutes of Health, to organize and fund multidisciplinary bio-defense research.
Lieberman and the IDSA framed the push for research as a fight against sickness and disease.
Former IDSA President Michael Scheld encouraged government incentives for antibiotic development.
"Market forces alone will not save the antibiotic-availability problem," he said.