Phytomedics and SK Chemicals Life Science R&D Center Enter Botanical Drug Collaboration

DAYTON, N.J., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Phytomedics Inc., a private biotechnology company, is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement with SK Chemicals Life Science R&D Center, a unit of South Korea's SK Group, to start the joint testing of new prescription botanical drugs for the global pharmaceutical markets. Cosmo USA, Inc. a medical industry consulting company with offices in the U.S., Korea, China, and Russia, served an integral role in bringing the two companies together for this unique partnership.

"We are very pleased to be working with SK, one of the pioneers in the use of functional genomics to decode the relationships between diseases and genes and their application in traditional herbal medicines," said Dr. Bertold Fridlender, CEO of Phytomedics Inc. "SK's capabilities in this area complement Phytomedics' unique and proprietary discovery and development technologies for the 'seed-to-pill' and 'batch-to-batch' standardization of complex phytochemical mixtures. This synergy presents an opportunity for the commercialization of a new generation of novel, safe and effective prescription botanical drug products."

Botanical drugs represent a newly defined pharmaceutical development space by the U.S. FDA. Proposed changes in the FDA regulatory environment may allow for the approval of botanical drugs at a more rapid pace than conventional drugs, resulting in approval costs that are significantly below that of new chemical entities (NCEs). The synergistic components found in botanical mixtures represent a largely untapped source of new pharmaceutical products with multiple mechanisms of action.

"The NCE paradigm of the twentieth century attempts to treat complex diseases with a 'single golden molecular bullet'," says Fridlender. "The first flaw in this paradigm appeared relatively recently when problems of resistance to anti-microbial and anti-cancer drugs became apparent. The multi-factorial nature of many complex diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and psychiatric disorders, is also an important consideration. The documented ability of plants to produce families of structurally and functionally diverse compounds that act in synergy provides an entirely new opportunity for the treatment of complex diseases that is not afforded to conventional NCE's or biologicals."

SK Chemicals Life Science R&D Center is a leading botanical and natural entity R&D center in South Korea. It is also the energy and chemical affiliate of South Korea's SK Group, one of South Korea's top industrial conglomerates with over $40 billion in annual revenue.

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. Phytomedics has several products in various stages of development, including products for viral, inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes, some of which are in clinical trials.

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