SOURCE: Universal Detection Technology

December 02, 2008 07:00 ET

Universal Detection Technology Responds to Bipartisan Report Warning of the Growing Threat of Biological Terrorism

Universal Detection Technology Offers Early Point and Standoff Anthrax Detection

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - December 2, 2008) - Universal Detection Technology ( (OTCBB: UNDT) (FRANKFURT: PO8), a developer of early-warning monitoring technologies to protect people from bioterrorism and other infectious health threats and provider of counter-terrorism consulting and training services, responds to a bipartisan report sponsored by the U.S. Congress warning of the growing threat of biological terrorism.

Seven years after the 2001 anthrax attacks, a congressionally ordered study finds a growing threat of biological terrorism and calls for aggressive defenses on par with those used to prevent a terrorist nuclear detonation. The study warns that future bioterrorists may use new technology to make synthetic versions of killers such as Ebola, or genetically modified germs designed to resist ordinary vaccines and antibiotics.

The document cites progress in many areas of biodefense since the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001, including major investments in research, stockpiling of drugs and development of a network of sensors designed to detect airborne viruses and bacteria. The Bush administration has spent more than $20 billion on such countermeasures, far more than any of its predecessors.

But the report says the next administration must do much more to prevent dangerous pathogens from falling into the wrong hands in the first place. While politicians often warn about the dangers of nuclear terrorism, a serious biological attack would be easier to accomplish and deserves a top priority.

"The more probable threat of bioterrorism should be put on equal footing with the more devastating threat of nuclear terrorism," the document states. It calls on the Obama administration to develop a comprehensive approach to preventing bioterrorism and to "banish the 'too-hard-to-do' mentality that has hobbled previous efforts."

Some bioweapons specialists have argued that it is practically impossible to prevent a biological attack, because lethal strains of anthrax bacteria and other deadly microbes can be found in nature. But the report argues that it would be far easier for bioterrorists to obtain the seeds of an attack from laboratories that have ready supplies of "hot" strains. U.S. officials think an Army biodefense lab was the source of the anthrax spores used in the 2001 attacks that killed five people.

"The bipartisan report illustrates the urgency in which the new administration has to confront the growing threat of bioterrorism by adapting the latest detection technologies along with implementing strict safety standards on domestic laboratories that work with deadly pathogens," said Mr. Jacques Tizabi, UNDT's Chief Executive Officer.

"The report warns of the dangers of genetically modified pathogens such as anthrax that can render current detection systems useless," said Mr. Amir Ettehadieh, UNDT's Director of Research and Development. "UNDT's BSM-2000 can detect elevated spore levels, which is a signature of an anthrax attack, even if the anthrax bacterium has been genetically modified making it an optimal first line of defense to such an attack," he added.

UNDT's handheld assays are capable of detecting up to five bioterrorism agents and are typically used by first responders to test suspicious powders. The company recently announced that it has received purchase orders for these assays from the DHS and the Miami-Dade County Fire Department. UNDT's autonomous anthrax detection system, the BSM-2000, is designed by NASA's JPL to independently monitor the air and sound an alarm if abnormal levels of bacterial spores such as anthrax are sensed. The Government of England has purchased UNDT's BSM-2000 in the past.

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About Universal Detection Technology

Universal Detection Technology is a developer of monitoring technologies, including bioterrorism detection devices. The Company on its own and with development partners is positioned to capitalize on opportunities related to Homeland Security. For example, the Company, in cooperation with NASA, has developed a bacterial spore detector that detects certain biohazard substances. The Company is also a reseller of handheld assays used for detection of five bioterrorism agents, radiation detection systems, and antimicrobial products. For more information, please visit

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Except for historical information contained herein, the statements in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause the Company's actual results, performance and achievement in the future to differ materially from forecasted results, performance, and achievement. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes in the Company's plans or expectations.

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