PharmAthene reports that the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009, which includes the 2009 appropriations for the DoD, includes $1.6 million to support ongoing development of the firm’s broad-spectrum chemical nerve agent countermeasure, Protexia®.
Protexia is a recombinant pegylated version of human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE). It is being developed as a pre-exposure prophylactic and postexposure therapy for military and civilian victims of nerve agent attacks.
“We have obtained promising data in animal models that demonstrate the effectiveness of nonpegylated rBChE in preventing toxicity and death from exposure to a broad spectrum of chemical nerve agents,” states John Troyer, senior program director for protexia. “Last week, at the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise Stakeholder's Workshop, we presented new preliminary findings which suggest that nonpegylated rBChE may also have efficacy as a therapeutic against nerve agent exposure. We're very encouraged by these data and expect to shortly begin a Phase I study of Protexia to evaluate its safety in humans.”
“The appropriations funding announced today is in addition to a previously announced multiyear contract from the Department of Defense U.S. Army Space and Missile Command for advanced development of Protexia,” says David P. Wright, president and CEO. This contract was valued at $213 million when it was issued in September 2006 provided that certain milestones are achieved and all contract options and extensions are exercised by the government.