HL Deb 10 January 2000 vol 608 cc71-2WA
The Countess of Mar

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When the research on mouse data recommended by the Independent Panel of the Ministry of Defence was commissioned from the National Institute for Biological Standards; whether the work has started; if it has, when are the results to be published; if it has not, when it is expected to start; and what is the cause of the delay. [HL470]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

Proposals for research into the possible adverse effects of the co-administration of anthrax and pertussis vaccines in mice to be undertaken at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Controls (NIBSC) were agreed by the Independent Panel on Vaccines Interactions Research at a meeting on 30 March 1999. The work is expected to begin in June 2000 and take about two years to complete.

The commencement of work has been subject to delay because the Independent Panel suggested changes to the original protocol prepared by NIBSC, in view of the results from preliminary work undertaken at the DERA Chemical and Biological Defence site at Porton Down. This resulted in NIBSC submitting an amended protocol in July 1999. There have since been further discussions between staff from CBD Porton Down and NIBSC about the revised protocol. NIBSC has considerable work commitments and because of resource limitations it will not now be possible to start work before June 2000.