Broomfield, CO – May 20, 2004 – Unigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading research and development facility and supplier of proprietary, biologically active plant-derived ingredients to the natural products and pharmaceutical industries, has announced entering into a plant collection agreement with the University of Panama’s School of Pharmacy and Center for Pharmacognostic Research on Panamanian Flora (CIFLORPAN).
CIFLORPAN and Unigen will work side by side to collect plants that have documented ethnomedicinal uses by native tribes in order to identify lead compounds for the development of pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical and functional food products. Unigen will apply natural product chemistry and high throughput screening to fractionate the Panamanian plant extracts, which will be further tested in its laboratory using appropriate biological, biochemical, genomic, and proteomic models.
“Panama is among the top 25 most plant-rich countries in the world, with rainforests that provide a perfect level of light intensity, humidity and temperature to yield unique and diverse plants containing the most biodiversity and high nutrient content,” stated Dr. Qi Jia, Unigen’s Vice President of Scientific Affairs. “We look forward to working with the University of Panama scientific staff and Dr. Mahabir P. Gupta, a highly acclaimed expert in his field and renowned for his role in utilizing biodiversity as a source of pharmaceuticals.”
According to Dr. Gupta, Principal Investigator and Director of CIFLORPAN at the University of Panama’s School of Pharmacy, “Our scientific team is excited about the opportunity to share knowledge and collaborate with Unigen on a project designed to create novel and indigenous products addressing the health needs of the world.” As coordinator of the Latin American Program of Science and Technology for Development (CYTED), Dr. Gupta was recently given a Board Archives Award by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his exemplary efforts to develop pharmaceuticals from natural resources and to promote scientific advances across Ibero-American countries.
Both Unigen and CIFLORPAN operate in full compliance with the United Nations Convention of Biodiversity, also known as the Biodiversity Treaty, with a commitment to promoting conservation and sustainable use of tropical medicinal plants native to Panama, and providing technology transfer, benefit sharing and recognition of the value of traditional knowledge to the source country, as well as supporting economic development of local communities. This collaboration will help dramatically expand Unigen’s already impressive PhytoLogix™ ethnomedicinal plant library that currently includes more than 3,000 medicinal plants, over 5,000 plant extracts and 200,000 fractions and compounds. The output of this project will lead to the discovery and development of novel, bioactive natural products to benefit mankind.
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About Unigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Unigen is a leading natural products research and development company and proprietary ingredients supplier. The company is dedicated to the discovery of botanically derived therapeutic compounds that address consumer health needs and help improve the quality of human life. Its research and discovery process includes extensive work at both the human cell and gene level. Unigen (www.unigenpharma.com), and sister company Aloecorp, are subsidiaries of Univera, Inc. Unigen and Aloecorp each focus on identifying and studying the unique ingredients of medicinal botanicals (Aloecorp’s focus is on Aloe vera) and then formulating proprietary raw materials for use in cosmeceutical, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products.