In this letter, Anfinsen wrote Asada at the Biotechnology Research Laboratories of the Takara Shuzo Company in order to acquire
several hundred milligrams of Pyrococcus amylase and to gauge the interest of the company in supporting the work of Anfinsen's
lab on Pyrococcus furiosus, which had the potential to degrade mustard gas.
We are still very actively pursuing the purification of the enzyme system in Pyrococcus furiosus which is able to degrade
the hydrolytic product of mustard gas. Getting rid of the many tons of this material is of great interest to the Army here
in the United States as well as in Russia and in other countries where large stocks are stored underground. As the enclosed
short description of our project points out the usual techniques of incineration can probably not be used for environmental
reasons. I am writing to ask you if Takara Shuzo is still interested in helping support our work in return for an eventual
joint patent that could be taken out on either large quantities of the purified enzyme or, more optimistically, on enzyme
that has been immobilized to permit on line passage at 100 degrees of the thiodiglycol. Let me know if Takara would be willing
to help support our work to the extent of say $50,000.00.
Incidentally, we are still very interested in carrying out crystallography on the Pyrococcus amylase from which the cloned
E. coli cells produce the enzyme. I would appreciate hearing from you about the possibilities of getting 100 to 200 mg of
the enzyme (which we could bring to ultimate purity in our laboratories here). This would be sufficient for comparing crystals
to be examined by my colleague, Evangelos Moudrianakis.