A Medical Device Daily

Computer Sciences (CSC; El Segundo, California) reported that DVC, a CSC company, has been 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.

DVC will lead a collaboration with Baxter Healthcare (Deerfield, Illinois) to do process development and manufacturing of a candidate therapeutic to be used in a Phase I clinical trial. Nicknamed “BioScavenger,” this candidate is being developed for its potential to provide protection from the toxic effects of certain chemical warfare agents.

Butyrylcholinesterase is an enzyme found in human blood plasma that has been shown to inhibit organophosphorous chemical nerve agents such as Sarin, Soman and VX.

“DVC has been developing biological products to protect against potential biowarfare threat agents since 1997,” said company president Terry Irgens. “This award marks DVC’s expansion into treatments for exposure to chemical warfare agents.”

Joy Amundson, corporate vice president of Baxter Healthcare and president of the company’s Bioscience business, said that the project expands Baxter’s role “in utilizing its state-of-the-art plasma and cell-culture technology platforms to provide therapeutics for critical biodefense and public health initiatives.”

MITS manages the development, acquisition and fielding of products used for the prophylaxis, treatment and diagnosis of chemical and biological warfare agent exposure in U.S. military personnel.

CSC is an information technology services company.