Protalix Gets $4M from Chief Scientist

Protalix BioTherapeutics announced yesterday that it received $4 million from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist to help it advance its clinical and pre-clinical drug development programs. The government grant program was setup to aid tech companies that have trouble seeking R&D financing from private investors.

Protalix, which was founded in 1994, intends to use most of the money to complete development of prGCD, an “enzyme naturally found in human cells that is mutated or deficient in patients with Gaucher disease.” PrGCD is currently in Phase III clinical trials in which “it is being tested as an enzyme replacement therapy for Gaucher disease.” The remainder of the grant will be used to fund some of Protalix’ other pre-clinical development goals including a biodefense program and a therapeutic enzyme for the treatment of Fabry disease.

Dr. David Aviezer, President and CEO of Protalix said the grant is “an important, non-dilutive cash resource for Protalix” and that his company is “pleased to have the support of the Chief Scientist as our enrollment of Gaucher patients in the phase III clinical trial of prGCD progresses.

The website has more details.

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