Phytomedics Inc. and Eisai Research Institute of Boston, Inc. Enter Cancer Therapeutic Discovery Collaboration

DAYTON, N.J., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Phytomedics Inc., a private biotechnology company, is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement with Eisai Research Institute of Boston, Inc. to jointly discover novel therapeutic compounds for use in cancer therapy.

``We are very pleased to be working with Eisai to discover and develop novel plant-derived therapeutic agents to combat cancer,'' said Dr. Bertold Fridlender, CEO of Phytomedics Inc. ``Eisai's advanced screening tools complement Phytomedics' unique and proprietary plant-based lead discovery and development technologies. This synergy presents an opportunity to develop a new generation of novel therapeutics as life-saving drugs for cancer and other diseases."

The plant kingdom has provided some of the most important cancer therapies of the 20th century. These include Taxol(TM), derived from the Pacific yew tree, and the vinca alkaloids, isolated from the Madagascar periwinkle. It is widely believed that researchers have only scratched the surface of the therapeutic treasures hidden in the vast diversity of plant-made compounds. Problems associated with conventional 'wild crafting-based bioprospecting' have created a major roadblock for discovering plant-derived therapeutic agents using modern screening tools.

Using the state-of-the-art tools of plant biotechnology, Phytomedics Inc. is pioneering a new strategy for efficient, reliable and reproducible laboratory-based bioprospecting, that greatly increases the chances for discovering new drugs without destroying a single plant growing in the wild.

Phytomedics is able to shortcut the discovery process and gain access to a whole new dimension of chemodiversity for cancer drug development in a consistent and reproducible manner. Its proprietary technology is based on chemical and physical treatments, which mimic various environmental stresses and stimulate the biosynthesis of novel phytochemicals with broad applications against multiple clinical targets. These ``elicited'' compounds can be manufactured reproducibly on a large scale under strictly controlled and optimized growing conditions.

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 has a broad research and licensing agreement with Rutgers University that allows the Company to exclusively license its core technologies and products. For additional information, visit Phytomedics's web site at

Eisai Research Institute of Boston, Inc. conducts innovative research and development of pharmaceuticals for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer through a unique Target Oriented, Chemistry Integrated approach. Eisai Research Institute is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., a research-based human health care company that discovers, develops and markets products in more than 30 countries. Through a global network of research facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, Eisai actively participates in all aspects of the worldwide health care system. For additional information, visit Eisai's web site at

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