LONDON (Agencies): The United Kingdom and the United States are launching a new partnership to join forces in countering biological threats under the “One Health” principle that also covers cooperation for the development of vaccines, the UK government has announced.

“The UK has taken a critical step forward in protecting the nation from increased biological threats today (Tuesday 16 January), as it announces a new Strategic Dialogue on Biological Security with the United States,” the government said in a statement late on Tuesday.

The deal is prompted by both countries’ shared goal to confront “a growing and diverse spectrum of biological threats,” including “future pandemics, antimicrobial resistance, a deliberate attack, as well as those that might arise from misuse of biotechnology.”

Built on the economic cooperation commitments made by the UK and the US under a June 2023 declaration, the new partnership covers harmonization of approaches to research and bio surveillance. One of the commitments, in particular, is to “facilitate the development of next-generation vaccines and therapeutics,” the statement read.

UK Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden additionally announced a 2 million pounds ($2.52 million) increase in funding for a local disease research project that “uses genetic sequencing to detect pathogens and improve patient outcomes while providing crucial data sources to support surveillance of new and emerging diseases,” as part of efforts to reinforce the UK’s biosecurity.

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