Preclinical and first-in-human evaluation of PRX-105, a PEGylated, plant-derived, recombinant human acetylcholinesterase-R

PRX-105 is a plant-derived recombinant version of the human ‘read-through’ acetylcholinesterase splice variant (AChE-R). Its active site structure is similar to that of the synaptic variant, and it displays the same affinity towards organophosphorus (OP) compounds. As such, PRX-105 may serve as a bio-scavenger for OP pesticides and chemical warfare agents. To assess its potential use in prophylaxis and treatment of OP poisoning we conducted several preliminary tests, reported in this paper. Intravenous (IV) PRX-105 was administered to mice either before or after exposure to an OP toxin. All mice who received an IV dose of 50 nmol/kg PRX-105, 2 min before being exposed to 1.33 × LD50 and 1.5 × LD50 of toxin and 10 min after exposure to 1.5 × LD50 survived. The pharmacokinetic and toxicity profiles of PRX-105 were evaluated in mice and mini-pigs. Following single and multiple IV doses (50 to 200 mg/kg) no deaths occurred and no significant laboratory and histopathological changes were observed. The overall elimination half-life (t½) in mice was 994 (± 173) min. Additionally, a first-in-human study, to assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of the compound, was conducted in healthy volunteers. The t½ in humans was substantially longer than in mice (average 26.7 h). Despite the small number of animals and human subjects who were assessed, the fact that PRX-105 exerts a protective and therapeutic effect following exposure to lethal doses of OP, its favorable safety profile and its relatively long half-life, renders it a promising candidate for treatment and prophylaxis against OP poisoning and warrants further investigation.

Authors: Atsmon, J., Brill-Almon, E., Nadri-Shay, C., Chertkoff, R., Shaikevich, D., Volokhov, I., Haim, K. Y., Bartfeld, D., Shulman, A., Ruderfer, I., Ben-Moshe, T., Shilovitzky, O., Soreq, H. and Shaaltiel, Y.
Year of publication: 2015
Journal: Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Volume 287, Issue 3, Pages 202-209

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