Protalix: 3 New Plant Cell Products

Protalix BioTherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE:PLX) (TASE:PLX) has three new compounds in development, oral PRX-106 for immune mediated disorders, PRX-110 for Cystic Fibrosis (CF), and PRX-107 for emphysema from heredity alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency.

PRX-106 is the company’s proprietary plant cell recombinant Anti-TNF fusion protein being developed as an orally-administered treatment for immune mediated disorders. In preclinical studies, oral PRX-106 alleviated immune-mediated hepatitis and reduced interferon gamma levels in a concanavalin A (ConA) mouse model. Additionally, oral administration of PRX-106 alleviated immune mediated colitis, a well established model for Crohn’s disease, promoting serum levels of anti-inflammatory IL-10 and regulatory T-cells.

PRX-110 is the company’s proprietary plant cell recombinant human Deoxyribonuclease 1 (DNase 1) under development for the treatment of CF, to be administered by inhalation. PRX-110 works by cleaving extracellular DNA and thinning the thick mucus that accumulates in CF patients’ lungs. In preclinical trials, PRX-110 demonstrated improved enzyme kinetics, less sensitivity to inhibition by actin and improved ex-vivo efficacy when compared to Pulmozyme┬«, the only approved form of recombinant DNase 1 manufactured in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. T

PRX-107 is the Company’s proprietary plant cell recombinant human Alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) under development for the treatment of emphysema due to hereditary AAT deficiency, to be administered by inhalation. PRX-107 is a protein that works by regulating the AAT-dependent inflammatory response in the lungs. Currently, there is no approved recombinant form of AAT. Plasma derived-forms of AAT are available, but are associated with limitations, including inadequate supply, the potential for adventitious agents and poor absorption. In preclinical studies, PRX-107 demonstrated the ability to rescue elastase induced lung damage in rats and as effective as a plasma-derived reagent. The Company plans to hold a pre-IND meeting with the FDA in the second half of 2013 to discuss next steps for this compound.

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