WIRB-Copernicus Group® ("WCG")™, the world's largest provider of regulatory and ethical review services for clinical research, announced today that it has acquired Alliance Biosciences. Formerly a division of Richmond, VA-based Alliance Engineering, Alliance Biosciences was the leading biosafety and biosecurity consulting firm in the United States. With this addition, WCG's biosafety division – WCG Biosafety™ – will be able to manage the entire continuum of biosafety oversight, helping to ensure that research involving potentially hazardous agents and vectors complies with the appropriate safety and regulatory requirements from laboratory design and drug discovery through clinical testing and therapeutic application.
"Recent news headlines regarding the mishandling of smallpox virus, avian influenza virus, and anthrax bacteria by government healthcare agencies underscore the importance of biosafety oversight for the public as well as industry professionals," said WCG Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Donald A. Deieso, Ph.D. "With this expansion to our WCG Biosafety team, we can now oversee all aspects of the biosafety review process from building the laboratories and organizing materials to managing the regulatory review boards and ethical approval process for drugs in development."
"My colleagues and I are tremendously proud to join WCG, and to expand our service offering to create a unified, seamless biosafety solution," said Ryan Burnette, Ph.D., former director of Alliance Biosciences and newly-appointed vice president of WCG Biosafety. "Biological science is a driving force in our society. As the promise of gene therapy increases, vaccine development expands, and the industry continues to explore new applications for infectious agents, the need for biosafety and biosecurity is more important than ever. We can make a greater impact as part of an organization that has for its mission the advancement of science and the protection of life."
The most experienced provider of biosafety solutions, WCG Biosafety manages more than 200 Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBCs) and has evaluated more than 140 gene transfer clinical and recombinant DNA pre-clinical research protocols to date. That is more reviews than any other U.S. organization outside of the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. IBCs are considered the cornerstone of the oversight process for any research involving recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid – gene therapies – at the institutions where the studies are being conducted.
WCG Biosafety brings together the leading authorities in biosafety, biosecurity, and bio-risk management to provide comprehensive review services and consulting solutions to government organizations, pharma and biotech companies, private research organizations, and academic institutions around the world.
WCG Biosafety helps these organizations to ensure the protection of human subjects, the safety of their investigators and personnel, and the security of their laboratories and workspaces. In addition to providing administrative support and mentoring for IBCs and biosafety officers, WCG Biosafety also specializes in containment laboratory design (BSL-1/2/3/4) guidance, facility evaluations, documentation and program audits, risk/threat assessments, and custom biosafety training.
Jenna Hess, M.S., who was formerly deputy director at Alliance Biosciences, has also joined WCG Biosafety as the division's director of operations.