One of the most politically-connected yet scandal ridden vaccine companies in the united states, with troubling ties to the 2001 anthrax attacks and opioid crisis, is set to profit handsomely from the current coronavirus crisis.
by Whitney Webb and Raul Diego
Part 4 - Germ monopoly
Porton International had come into existence as a result of the Thatcherite revolution that balkanized British public sector assets and distributed them among private interests that frequently had close and cozy ties with Thatcher-era officials and other UK politicians.
Among these assets was the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR), a biotechnology arm of the United Kingdom’s infamous Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, commonly referred to as Porton Down, which also happened to house the UK’s own anthrax vaccine program.
Porton International began operations in 1982, when London financier, Wensley Haydon-Baillie, founded the company to develop a herpes medication invented by Dr. Gordon Skinner, which had stalled during clinical trials and never actually entered the market.
In 1985, Haydon-Baillie secured exclusive rights to commercialize drugs developed by the CAMR, a sweetheart deal from the Thatcher government that drew in large investments from British Telecom and Lloyds Bank, among others, totaling £76 million. Haydon-Ballie profited handsomely from the venture, collecting annual dividends of half a million pounds and selling some of his shares for £24 million in 1986.
In 1989, Porton International acquired Sera-lab and Hazleton Biologics, Inc., providing it with an established distribution network. The following year, the company’s bid to outright purchase the 650-employee CAMR lab would be accepted by British Health Secretary, Kenneth Clark, despite opposition from the staff who had voted against the takeover.