The nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) announces that Australia-based Soho Flordis International (SFI) is the recipient of ABC’s annual Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award. SFI is a global natural medicine company committed to identifying and developing natural medicines with high levels of evidence of quality, safety, and effectiveness, and marketing them around the world.
The late Professor Tyler—who has been described as one of the most respected men in late-20th century herbal medicine and pharmacognosy (the study of medicines of natural origin, usually from plants)—was an early trustee of ABC, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Purdue University for 20 years, and vice president of academic affairs at Purdue. He was the senior author of six editions of the leading textbook in the field, formerly used in every college of pharmacy in the United States, as well as numerous other professional and popular books and many articles in the academic literature. Prof. Tyler encouraged scientific and product integrity, and envisioned a rational phytomedicinal (plant-based medicines) healthcare sector that valued the proper evaluation of products’ quality, safety, and efficacy.
SFI was established in 2010 as a collaboration between Flordis Pty Ltd and SOHO Group. The company’s brands now include Flordis, Ginsana®, ProThera®, Klaire Labs®, and Complementary Prescriptions™.
“Today, Soho Flordis International operates in over 35 countries and has 68 clinical trials published on our own products,” said Nigel Pollard, CEO of SFI. “Through our research company, SFI Research, we have eight ongoing clinical trials on our own products and those of our partners. Our partners in research and marketing are other pioneers of clinically proven natural medicines, such as Zeller’s, Madaus/Rottapharm (Meda), Steigerwald (Bayer), Bionorica, Ilhwa, and Pharmatoka.”
“SFI has established itself as one of the leading herbal dietary supplement companies with a portfolio of products that are well-characterized not only with regard to the phytochemical composition but also their research regarding safety and efficacy,” said ABC Chief Science Officer Stefan Gafner, PhD. “The number of current and past clinical studies is a testament to their commitment to high-quality products. I congratulate SFI for their outstanding work and for their well-deserved recognition in the form of the 2014 ABC Varro E. Tyler Award for Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research.”
Ginsana, which contains the standardized extract of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) root, G115®, has a 35-year history of scientific investigation and clinical use for increasing physical endurance and improving immune function. (Ginsana and G115 are trademarks of Pharmaton SA of Lugano, Switzerland; SFI acquired Ginsana in July 2013.) Initially patented in 1960, Ginsana is the world’s first standardized botanical extract.
Flordis also produces KeenMind®, which contains the standardized extract of a traditional Ayurvedic plant from India known as brahmi (Bacopa monnieri). SFI’s bacopa extract, CDRI08®, has been shown to promote memory retention and recall, concentration, and focus in five human clinical trials. Like G115, CDRI08 has decades of research behind it and is currently undergoing multiple clinical trials to measure its efficacy in a number of different populations. These trials exemplify testament to SFI’s commitment to furthering product development and clinical evidence of the quality and potency of its products.
“We are really delighted to receive the American Botanical Council’s Varro E. Tyler Award,” said Pollard. “In fact, our company’s vision was inspired by Professor Tyler and Mr. [Mark] Blumenthal at a conference 16 years ago in Australia. Prof. Tyler’s principles of rational phytotherapy underpin these investments and our vision for natural products in mainstream medicine.”
“SFI is a company built on the research-based values that Professor Tyler promoted regarding developing and marketing clinically tested phytomedicinal products,” said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. “As a research- and science-based organization, ABC is pleased to be able to recognize SFI for its many clinical trials and related research achievements.”
Previous recipients of the ABC Tyler Award include Wakunaga Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., of Japan for 2013; Horphag Research of Switzerland for 2012; Bioforce AG of Switzerland for 2011; New Chapter, Inc. of the United States for 2010; Bionorica AG of Germany for 2009; Indena SpA of Italy for 2008; and Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals of Germany for 2007.
The Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award will be presented to SFI Founder and CEO Nigel Pollard at the 10th Annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony on March 5 in Anaheim, Calif. The event, for ABC Sponsor Members, occurs during the NEXT Innovation Summit nutrition, natural products, and dietary supplements conference and the Natural Products Expo West.
The ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony is underwritten by generous contributions from the following members of the herb, dietary supplement, and natural products industry:
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