Countervail Corporation is developing both prophylactic remedies and post-exposure antidotes to toxins such as Sarin, which are feared could be used in chemical attacks. Countervail’s products could also be suitable for treating exposure to harmful pesticides.
These products are based on galantamine which is currently approved for use in treating Alzheimers disease. Galantamine is the only organophosphorus poisoning (OP) treatment that can cross the blood-brain barrier, thus effectively protecting the central nervous system.
Galantamine is available in both tablet and injectable dosage forms. The tablet is rapidly absorbed, has a long shelf life and can be packaged for easy forward distribution. Since galantamine tablets for anti-toxin applications will be delivered in dosages below those used to administer Alzheimers, and for shorter periods of time, the side-effects are expected to be negligible. The injectable form of galantamine can be made available in an auto-injector delivery system for post OP exposure treatment of incapacitated victims.
The fact that galantamine is used for Alzheimer’s treatments is expected to reduce Countervail’s required time and resource commitment in connection with going through the regulatory approval process. Further, revenues could be generated faster than is typical with a new drug since the government could allow, or even mandate, Countervail’s drugs to be stockpiled before FDA approval is received.Antidotes to Chemical Weapons,