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Department of Defense Awards $5.8 Million Contract Modification Providing Additional Funding for PharmAthene's Protexia(R) Program
Date:3/26/2008

Preclinical studies suggest that recombinant butyrylcholinesterase used as a prophylactic against nerve agents would add a valuable capability to the spectrum of existing nerve agent therapeutics. Recombinant butyrylcholinesterase has been shown to bind with nerve agents to prevent lethality in in vivo challenge studies with nerve agents. As a prophylactic, recombinant butyrylcholinesterase may reduce or eliminate the need for post-exposure therapeutics. In addition, our proprietary manufacturing method enables substantially larger production yields than what is possible with human plasma-derived BChE, suggesting that when developed, Protexia(R) could adequately fulfill the U.S. military and civilian stockpile requirements. It is these unique characteristics which make Protexia(R) the superior choice for military and civilian chemical defense," said Dr. Troyer.

About Protexia(R): PEGylated Recombinant Human Butyrylcholinesterase (rBChE)

Protexia(R) is a form of recombinant human butyrylcholinesterase (rBChE), a potent organophosphorus (OP) scavenger protein produced in the milk of transgenic goats, which is being developed for use as a prophylactic against acute organophosphorus (OP) nerve agent toxicity.

About Chemical Weapons

Organophosphorus nerve agents, or anti-cholinesterase agents, were discovered in the 1930s following intensive research into new insecticides. Their discovery represents the beginning of modern chemical warfare. These agents cause toxicity by binding to and inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme in the body that is essential for nervous system function, leading to increases in acetylcholine and "cholinergic crisis" that can cause loss of muscle control, respiratory failure, paralysis, convulsions, permanent brain damage and eventually death.

These so-called nerve gases, which are actually all liquids at room temperature, are lethal far more quickly and in far lower concentrations than other classical
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SOURCE PharmAthene, Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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