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DynPort Vaccine Company LLC

Drug Names(s): plasma derived butyrylcholinesterase

Description: BioScavenger is a plasma-derived butyrylcholinesterase.

Cholinesterase is a term which refers to one of the two enzymes:

  • Acetylcholinesterase (AChE), also known as RBC cholinesterase, erythrocyte cholinesterase, or (most formally) acetylcholine acetylhydrolase, found primarily in the blood and neural synapses
  • Pseudocholinesterase (BChE or BuChE), also known as plasma cholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase, or (most formally) acylcholine acylhydrolase, found primarily in the liver.
  • Both of these compounds catalyze the hydrolysis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine into choline and acetic acid, a reaction necessary to allow a cholinergic neuron to return to its resting state after activation. The difference between the two types of cholinesterase has to do with their respective preferences for substrates: the former hydrolyses acetylcholine more quickly; the latter hydrolyses butyrylcholine more quickly.

    The devastating effects of nerve agents (in bioterrorism, Sarin gas for example) are due to their inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, resulting in continuous stimulation of the muscles, glands and central nervous system.

    Deal Structure: BioScavenger was developed, manufactured, characterized and preclinically tested by Baxter Healthcare Corporation. Baxter will hold the FDA license and have responsibility to supply stockpile orders.

    In April 2005, DynPort Vaccine Company, a division of the Computer Sciences Corporation, was awarded a two-year, $19.6 million contract from the Department of Defense Medical Identification and Treatment Systems (MITS) Joint Product Management Office to develop plasma-derived human butyrylcholinesterase. The contract includes process development and manufacturing of a candidate therapeutic to be used in a phase I clinical trial.

    Partners: Baxter International Inc.

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