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PharmAthene's Recombinant Butyrylcholinesterase (rBChE) May Play A Neuroprotective Role in Alzheimer's Disease
Date:4/9/2008

fibrils, precursors to plaque formation in the brain. These data were substantiated by transmission electron microscopy studies, which showed that rBChE dramatically suppressed the formation of fibrils, resulting in thinner and less branched filaments than would normally occur in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

More recent studies have also demonstrated that this plaque inhibitory activity is still active when peptide fragments of rBChE are used, rather than the full length protein. This may be an advantage in developing a product that can cross the blood brain barrier.

The formation of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease is theorized to involve a structural transition of the amyloid beta peptide. New data generated by Dr. Soreq corroborate earlier findings, and demonstrate that both rBChE and its peptide fragments could disrupt amyloid beta organization and potentially limit its neurotoxicity.

David P. Wright, President and Chief Executive Officer of PharmAthene commented, "The early research is certainly intriguing. While we are still a long way from understanding the utility of rBChE in patients with Alzheimer's disease, our next steps will include studying rBChE in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease to evaluate its ability to inhibit or reduce amyloid plaque formation. If the results continue to be encouraging, it may allow PharmAthene to expand applications of rBChE to additional areas beyond organophosphorous nerve agent toxicity with potentially important benefits to society. Importantly, this is consistent with our strategy of developing dual-use applications for our biodefense programs in other commercial markets."

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which is estimated to affect more than 4.5 million Americans. One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease is the accumulation of excessive amyloid plaques in areas of the brain that control memory and cognition. Amyloid multimers are bel
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SOURCE PharmAthene, Inc.
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