Pfizer signs development deal with Protalix

AP News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2009 1:11 PM

Pfizer will spend up to $115 million for rights to an Israeli biotech company's experimental drug and its promising technology for making that drug and others in carrot cells.

The world's biggest drugmaker says its deal with Protalix BioTherapeutics Inc. involves a "groundbreaking" technology, the first to use plant cells to make protein-based drugs.

The deal also gives Pfizer Inc. worldwide rights, except in Israel, to sell a genetically engineered drug called taliglucerase alpha to treat a rare inherited condition called Gaucher's disease. Caused by deficiency of a particular enzyme, it damages the liver and bone marrow, sometimes leading to death.