The United States President George W Bush has signed a new law aimed at encouraging the development of vaccines against biological and chemical weapons.
The law paves the way for a $US7.8 billion program, known as Project BioShield, which intended to speed up the approval process for antidotes.
In an emergency, it allows the Government to distribute treatments before the health authorities have approved them.
Mr Bush said the move would allow his country to be well prepared if terrorists struck.
“It sends a message about our direction in the war on terror. We refuse to remain idle when modern technology might be turned against us,” he said.
“We will rally the great promise of American science and innovation to confront the greatest danger of our time.”