Buffalo-based CUBRC could earn $67 million for work on the behalf of the federal government.
Through a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CUBRC will investigate potential medical treatments for a handful of conditions that currently have no cure.
"Our country, and frankly our world at large, face a growing threat," says Anne Radcliff, director of biological & medical sciences at CUBRC. "That's a threat from deadly infections for which treatments are nonexistent or inadequate. These diseases could be caused by either man made threats, in the case of biological weapons, or emerge naturally."
One of the tasks of the HHS is to fill the gaps in the government's response to possible medical scenarios.
"What it will mean for most people in the world is potential cures for diseases that are currently incurable," Radcliff says.
The government will pay CUBRC $11.5 million for research this year, with options for four more years equaling a total of $67 million.
"The fact that the word is getting out about CUBRC and our ability to compete for and win in full open competitions in a program like this has now got potential partners coming to our door, which is always fun," says Tom McMahon, CEO at CUBRC.
CUBRC will partner with other firms around the country to complete the research, which means only 15 jobs will be created in the Buffalo area.
Still, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) says the contract demonstrates momentum for the local economy.
"Getting this kind of grant from the United States is no small item. I don't know anybody else who has gotten this," Slaughter says. "And I believe more will come once the federal government has evinced that kind of interest into what's happening here."