"ANNAPOLIS, Md., June 12, 2006 /PRNewswire/ -- PharmAthene, Inc., a leading biodefense company focused on the development and commercialization of medical countermeasures to combat bioterrorism, presented data last week at the Bioscience Review 2006 meeting, outlining a newly-developed manufacturing process to facilitate commercial-scale production of the Company's recombinant human butyrylcholinesterase product, Protexia(R).
Protexia is being developed by PharmAthene as a pre and post-exposure therapy for military or civilian victims of a chemical nerve agent attack.
Protexia is a recombinant form of human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), a naturally occurring protein found in minute quantities in blood. BChE functions as a natural bioscavenger, like a sponge, to absorb toxins such as organophosphate (OP), nerve agents (sarin, soman, tabun, VX) and certain pesticides, before they cause irreversible neurological damage.
While the utility of BChE to protect against nerve agent exposure is well documented, a major limitation in its development has been the inability to produce it in commercial volumes due to limited raw material availability (outdated blood), low levels of the enzyme in blood, and low production yields using traditional biotechnology methods.
To overcome these limitations, PharmAthene has developed a recombinant form of human BChE, (rBChE), which is produced using proprietary transgenic technology, enabling substantially larger production yields than what is currently possible using other expression systems of through purification of the native protein from human plasma. PharmAthene estimates that its transgenic technology will have the capacity to produce sufficient rBChE for both military and civilian defence. "
Monday, June 12, 2006