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Pharmathene's Recombinant Butyrylcholinesterase (rBChE) Program the,Subject of Promising New Alzheimer's Research

In Vitro Assays Show rBChE Suppresses Amyloid Plaque Formation

ANNAPOLIS, Md., April 3, 2007 - PharmAthene, Inc., a leading biodefense company specializing in the development and commercialization of medical countermeasures against chemical and biological terrorism, announced today that new data from its recombinant butyrylcholinesterase (rBChE) research program were recently presented at the 8th International Conference on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases in Salzburg, Austria.


New research conducted by Dr. Hermona Soreq and co-workers at the Alexander Silberman Life Sciences Institute at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in collaboration with PharmAthene, examined the role of recombinant butyrylcholinesterase (rBChE) in the formation of amyloid plaques, which are believed to play a crucial role in the development of Alzheimer's disease.


The data presented by Drs. Soreq and Langermann, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for PharmAthene, show that rBChE can effectively block the formation of amyloid fibrils, precursors to plaque formation in the brain, potentially attenuating neurotoxicity. 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.


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 fibrils are believed to be neurotoxic and interfere with the normal communication between neurons. A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the accumulation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain
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