Texas A&M Awarded Biodefense Contract | KERA News

Texas A&M Awarded Biodefense Contract

Texas A&M University has been awarded one of three national biodefense contracts to help the country quickly develop vaccines in the event of a pandemic and strategies for responding to bioterrorism.

 The contract was announced Monday by Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp and federal health officials.

The initial five-year contract is worth $176 million and can be renewed for up to 25 years. Texas A&M will partner with Georgia-based pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline and Kalon Biotherapeutics in College Station.

The biodefense center will work to develop vaccines to rapidly respond and protect against flu pandemics as well as research and training for response to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

AP

Ron Paul endorses Randy Weber's congressional bid

Retiring U.S. Rep. Ron Paul has endorsed state lawmaker Randy Weber's bid to replace him in Congress.

The pair spent time together at the Texas Republican Convention earlier this month, and Weber's campaign on Monday quoted Paul as saying, "I am pleased to endorse Randy Weber."

Paul chose not to seek re-election to focus on his presidential run, but has since suspended his campaign.

Paul has represented the district including his hometown of Lake Jackson for 24 years.

Weber faces a runoff July 31 with Pearland City Councilwoman Felicia Harris. That's because none of the crowded field of Republicans vying for their party's nomination for Paul's seat won a majority of the votes in last month's primary.

The winner faces Democratic former U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson in November's general election.

AP

Texas doctor accused of fraud gives up license

A North Texas doctor accused of running a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid of nearly $375 million has surrendered his medical license.

Jacques Roy is in federal custody on charges that he signed off on thousands of claims to bill the federal government for services that weren't necessary or weren't done. In an order released Monday, the Texas Medical Board said Roy had agreed to surrender his license to practice medicine in the state.

The order says the 54-year-old Roy does not admit or deny the federal allegations against him, but agreed to a settlement to avoid a possible lawsuit.

Roy's attorney did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

AP

200th Kemp's ridley turtle nest found in Texas

Experts have confirmed the discovery of a record 200th Kemp's ridley endangered sea turtle nest along the Texas coast.

Donna Shaver with Padre Island National Seashore says some visitors located the nest Sunday.

Shaver says a turtle patrol worker in April spotted tracks in the area where the 200th nest was found, but couldn't locate the nest. The area had been marked and was being monitored.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported Monday that the finding tops last year's 199 nests. Shaver says it's the highest number of Kemp's ridley nests located annually in the area since record keeping began in the early 1980s.

Shaver says windy conditions expected later this week would be favorable for nesting.

AP

Former HUD Secretary Cisneros has prostate cancer

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros has disclosed he is being treated for prostate cancer.

The ex-San Antonio mayor says he's going public to encourage more men to be tested.

Cisneros told the San Antonio Express-News, in a story Sunday, that he was diagnosed in January. He started radiation therapy in May.

The San Antonio native says he has "great faith" that the technology will beat his cancer.

Cisneros on June 11 turned 65. He recently published a book about aging called: "Independent for Life: Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging America."

Cisneros served as HUD secretary in the 1990s. He's currently executive chairman of CityView, a Los Angeles-based investment company focused on urban development.

AP