Phytomedics and DNAX Research, Inc. Enter Biopharmaceutical Collaboration

DAYTON, N.J., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Phytomedics Inc., a private biotechnology company, is pleased to announce signing a feasibility agreement with DNAX Research, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, Schering-Plough Corporation's biotechnology center for immunology and molecular biology, to produce therapeutic proteins in plants using Phytomedics' proprietary Recombinant Protein Secretion Technology (REPOST). Phytomedics Inc., an exclusive licensee of this technology, has been funding the development of REPOST at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

``We are very pleased to be working with DNAX, a leader in the research and development of innovative therapeutic products,'' said Dr. Bertold Fridlender, CEO of Phytomedics Inc. ``DNAX's biopharmaceutical candidates and Phytomedics' unique REPOST manufacturing technology complement each other and should further demonstrate the value of our molecular farming capabilities.''

Innovative REPOST technology uses genetically transformed green plants to synthesize and continuously secrete large quantities of biopharmaceutical proteins from roots into a hydroponic solution. The technology, which is conceptually similar to natural rubber or maple syrup production, allows environmentally safe, continuous and efficient production of recombinant biopharmaceuticals. It was developed to provide a rapid and cost-effective solution to large-scale manufacturing of recombinant proteins. ``With the sheer number of biopharmaceutical product candidates under development there is a major shortfall of manufacturing capacity for these life-saving drugs, '' says Fridlender. ``The multi-million dollar cost and time required to build a conventional 'bricks-and-mortar' biopharmaceutical facility creates a major opportunity for the fast and economical REPOST approach.''

DNAX is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP - news) of Kenilworth, N.J., a research based company engaged in the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of pharmaceutical products worldwide.

Phytomedics Inc. is a privately held biotechnology firm located in Dayton, N.J. Phytomedics conducts its R&D under the leadership of Professor Ilya Raskin, Ph. D., at the Biotech Center of Rutgers University, who is also a founder and Chairman of the Company. Phytomedics' research staff is comprised of twenty scientists, mostly Ph. Ds, working in state-of-the-art facilities. Phytomedics has a broad research and licensing agreement with Rutgers University that allows the Company to exclusively license its core technologies and products.

In addition to business activities in the area of protein bio-farming, Phytomedics has also developed a broad range of plant-based biotechnologies targeted for the discovery and manufacturing of novel pharmaceuticals, botanical drugs, and nutritional health care products. Phytomedics has several products in various stages of development, including products for viral, inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, erectile dysfunction and sleep improvement, some of which are in clinical trials.

SOURCE: Phytomedics Inc.

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