On January 9, 2017, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released
Recommended Policy Guidance for Departmental Development of Review Mechanisms for Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight. The Guidance recommends consistent and appropriate Federal agency review and reporting processes for the oversight of Federally funded research that is anticipated to create, transfer, or use enhanced potential pandemic pathogens (PPP). The guidance recommends that Federal agencies adopt an appropriate review process if they wish to consider conducting or funding studies that may be anticipated to enhance PPP. Adoption of these recommendations will satisfy the requirements for lifting the current
research funding pause on certain life sciences research that could generate enhanced PPP.
The OSTP recommended policy guidance provides a mechanism for the establishment of agency review processes that take into account the scientific and public health benefits, the biosafety and biosecurity risks, and the appropriate risk mitigation measures pertinent to the proposed research. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) projects that have had funding paused will be reviewed using a new process in accordance with the recommended guidance. Any projects that are determined suitable to proceed will do so with appropriate risk mitigation measures in place.
In conjunction with the recommended policy guidance, OSTP issued a statement that: