Biological Degradation of Chemical Agents

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q04CR065
Agency Tracking Number: 03SB2-0470
Amount: $99,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
AGAVE BIOSYSTEMS, INC.
P.O. Box 80010, Austin, TX, 78708
DUNS: 022552900
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mehran Pazirandeh
 Staff Scientist
 (607) 272-0002
 mehranp@agavebio.com
Business Contact
 Noe Salazar
Title: President
Phone: (512) 671-1369
Email: nsalazar@agavebio.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Current methods used for the destruction of CW agents are cumbersome, require extensive capital equipment such as incinerators and water reactors and pose potential environmental problems themselves. A novel approach for the destruction of CW agentsinvolves genetically engineering microorganisms to produce recombinant enzymes that can efficiently degrade CW agents. Such a system would allow these toxic compounds to be efficiently degraded to harmless products. There are a number of advantages to abiological based system for degrading CW agents. First, a properly designed biological system would be easy to use by non-science personnel, such as Special Operation units of the armed forces. Also, a biological-based system would be cost effectivebecause it would be self-generating, and due to their catalytic nature, each enzyme molecule can degrade many molecules of a CW agent. Agave BioSystems proposes to develop a biologically based system for the efficient and safe destruction of CW agents,particularly the non-volatile persistent substances such as VX. This effort involves the development of a genetically engineered microbial system based on the efficient CW degrading enzyme organophosphate hydrolase (OPH).

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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