NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - April 15, 2015) - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. This disease is characterized by shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and other symptoms.
According to Alpha-1 Foundation, even if an individual has never smoked or been exposed to pollutants for an extended period of time, they can still develop COPD. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD), or simply Alpha-1 Deficiency, is a genetic condition whereby the body fails to produce the Alpha-1 antitrypsin protein in the liver in sufficient quantities, or at all. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin is a protein that protects the lungs, and individuals that don't produce sufficient alpha-1 ultimately develop a genetic, or inherited, form of COPD.
The treatment for those affected with Inherited COPD is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) Replacement therapy. The alpha-1 protein can be extracted and purified from pooled human blood plasma, in a manner very similar to the anti-hemophiliac factors that are used to treat boys with the genetic condition known as hemophilia. Alpha-1 is known to help patients with Alpha-1 Deficiency that develop inherited COPD by slowing the progressive decline of lung function. However, because of its known anti-inflammatory properties, there are hundreds of clinical trials ongoing in other medical conditions and diseases, including diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2), acute myocardial infarction, inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, graft vs. host disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, vasculitis, organ transplantation, and multiple sclerosis.
With that kind of range, it is not surprising that many experts are concerned that we might be facing a shortage of AAT in the future. The current method of harvesting AAT from blood plasma is known as the Cohn Cold Fractionation Process, which was developed in the 1940s. AAT's normal concentration in human plasma is 1.8 to 3.5 grams per liter, and the Cohn Process can recover about 7% or so of it. PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (#PTBI) has developed a new and improved process for extracting AAT which raises that recovery rate to 70% or more (approximately 10X fold increase in yield). The Company believes that its patented process is the only process in development that could meet growing demand for AAT in the future. Jeffrey Davis, PlasmaTech's COO will explain the following:
- What is Inherited COPD? Who does it affect?
- Why does the World Health Organization and the American Thoracic Society recommend that every individual diagnosed with COPD be tested for Alpha-1?
- How do these patients get the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin that they need?
- Why could we see a shortage of this drug in a few years?
- How can your Company's technology change that?
- What resources are available for those with Inherited COPD?
About PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.:
PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (PlasmaTech) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing targeted treatments for significant unmet needs of critical patient care. Exploiting two distinct proprietary platforms, Salt Diafiltration (SDF™) Process and Polymer Hydrogel Technology (PHT™), PlasmaTech is active in the development and commercialization of plasma-derived therapeutics and cancer supportive care products. The company has developed a robust product pipeline that includes two commercial stage products, MuGard® and ProctiGard™ as well as multiple pre-clinical follow-on products. For more information visit, www.plasmatechbio.com.
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