PharmAthene, Inc. , a biodefense company developing medical countermeasures against biological and chemical threats, announced today that the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009, which includes the full-year FY 2009 appropriations for the Department of Defense (DoD), includes $1.6 million to support ongoing development of the Company's broad spectrum chemical nerve agent countermeasure, Protexia(R).
""We continue to be pleased by the strong support we have received from the Department of Defense in the advancement of our biodefense programs,"" said David P. Wright, President and Chief Executive Officer. ""The appropriations funding announced today is in addition to a previously announced multi-year contract from the Department of Defense U.S. Army Space and Missile Command for advanced development of Protexia(R). This contract is valued at up to $219 million, provided that certain milestones are achieved, and all contract options and extensions are exercised by the government.""
""We are also grateful to Maryland's U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin, who has been very supportive and committed to our success in developing biodefense vaccines and therapeutics to protect America's citizens and military personnel,"" continued Mr. Wright. ""Senator Cardin has been a strong advocate for promoting the growth of technology-focused industries within Maryland and understands the importance of supporting our Nation's biodefense industry.""
Protexia(R), a recombinant pegylated version of human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), is being developed as a pre-exposure prophylactic and post-exposure therapy for military and civilian victims of nerve agent attacks.
""We have obtained promising data in animal models that demonstrate the effectiveness of non-pegylated rBChE in preventing toxicity and death from exposure to a broad spectrum of chemical nerve agents,"" commented Dr. John Troyer, Senior Program Director for Protexia(R). ""Last week, at the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE) Stakeholder's Workshop, we presented new preliminary findings which suggest that non- pegylated 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(R) (pegylated rBChE) to evaluate its safety in humans.