PharmAthene acquires license for human, cell-based manufacturing platform

Biodefense company PharmAthene, Inc., recently announced that it has acquired the commercial license to use biopharmaceutical Percivia's proprietary PER.C6 technology platform to produce its next generation bioscavenger.

PER.C6 is a human, cell-based manufacturing platform that can produce a variety of fully human biological products for the life sciences industry. PharmAthene said that it plans to use the platform to produce a recombinant form of human butyrylcholinesterase, which occurs naturally in small quantities in blood. rBChE operates as a bioscavenger, absorbing toxins, including nerve agents and some pesticides before they can cause irreversible nerve damage.

"PharmAthene is proud to be working in collaboration with the Department of Defense to develop innovative new medical countermeasure solutions to address significant national security threats," Dr. John Troyer, PharmAthene's vice president of chemical defense product development, said. "The potential use of chemical weapons represents a growing concern.

"If successful, our rBChE bioscavenger platform could provide an efficient and flexible manufacturing approach and a more cost-effective solution for the U.S. government to protect the U.S. military and citizens from chemical weapons. We have made significant advances under our current contract with the DoD and expect to begin pharmacokinetic and efficacy testing of rBChE in animals in the coming months."

PharmAthene is developing rBChE to use a pre- and post-exposure therapy for battlefield or civilian nerve agent casualties. Non-clinical animal studies have demonstrated its effectiveness when administered before a nerve agent challenge, and may also increase survival when administered post-exposure.