Carlsbad, CA – July 27, 2006 - Next Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today the results of a study funded by the National Institutes of Health on the potential benefits of Nexrutine ® (a proprietary extract from the bark of the Phellodendron tree) on prostate cancer. Scientists led by principal investigator, Dr. Pratap Kumar, at the Department of Urology at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas have found that this herbal extract prevents the growth of prostate cancer cells in laboratory studies. These studies also found that blocking the activation of a transcription factor called CREB and a critical cell survival signaling kinase called Akt disrupted prostate cancer cell growth and induced cell death, a balance that is altered in cancer cells.
The study is published in the June edition of Neoplasia, an international journal oriented to basic cancer research and published by the Nature Publishing Group. Nexrutine® is a patented compound extracted from Phellodendron amurense trees commonly found in Asia. Next Pharmaceuticals, a research and development company is the formulator of Nexrutine®
“We are very excited about the results of this two year study and are in the process of setting up clinical trials as the next step,” said Bob Garrison, CEO and President of Next Pharmaceuticals. “This research indicates that Nexrutine® could make an important contribution in the management of prostate cancer.”
“A number of drugs and nutrients have been and are being studied for their ability to prevent prostate cancer,” said Dr. Kumar. “However a reduction in prostate cancer progression using an inexpensive and safe dietary supplement such as Nexrutine® is very exciting.”
Nutritional supplements have been increasingly used for various diseases including cancers. Population studies suggest that those who eat fruits and vegetables are less likely to get cancer including prostate cancer. Prostate cancer (PCA) is the most common form of cancer in men especially in the Western world. Approximately 230,000 men are diagnosed with PCA every year in the US alone and 30,000 of them die each year.
The laboratory study examined the effect of Nexrutine® on human prostate cancer cells. Phellodendron extracts have been used traditionally in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years as an anti-diarrheal, astringent and anti-inflammatory agent. The study investigated Nexrutine®’s use as a prostate cancer preventive agent. Nexrutine® treatment killed prostate cancer cells through induction of a process called apoptosis (cell death) and inhibition of cancer cell growth. Specifically, treatment with Nexrutine® altered some of the key molecules such as Akt kinase and transcription factor CREB associated with these processes.
About Next Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Up until now, Next Pharmaceuticals has marketed Nexrutine® for pain and inflammation. It reduces pain, without the gastrointestinal irritation commonly caused by aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSADs). Next Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a research and development company that markets its patented or patent-pending ingredients such as Relora®, Nexrutine ®, Seditol® and Citri-Z® to food, beverage, and dietary supplement companies seeking differentiation and a marketing edge with their healthy living products.
# # #