PHARMAGENESIS’ GROUP FORMS JOINT VENTURE TO MANUFACTURE AND SELL PG2 IN CHINA

Adjunct Cancer Therapy Drug Restores Blood Cells During Chemotherapy 

BEIJING - May 22, 2001 - Pharmagenesis Inc.’s parent company, the Orchid Group, has entered into a joint venture agreement with Tianjin Zhong Xin Pharmaceutical Group (TZXP.SG), one of China's leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, to form a new company for the production of PG2, a cancer therapy drug.

Tianjin Zhong Xin Pharmaceutical Group, a leading pharmaceutical company, created China’s most profitable pharmaceutical joint venture company with GlaxoSmithKline.  Tianjin Zhong Xin Pharmaceutical Group is also the parent company of two of the top three traditional Chinese medicine companies and the most profitable exporter of traditional Chinese medicine in China.  The company was the first Chinese pharmaceutical company to debut on the Singapore Stock Exchange. 

As a part of the agreement, the joint venture’s new company, to be called Tianjin Hualong Pharmaceutical Company, will build a new factory for the production of PG2, a hematopoiesis enhancer that restores blood cells destroyed by chemotherapy.  Pharmagenesis, Inc. developed PG2 from the purified extract of a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine.

“Our partnership gives Pharmagenesis the support of one of China’s strongest pharmaceutical companies to manufacture a drug that will greatly improve quality of life for those undergoing chemotherapy,” Nicolas Druz, CEO, Pharmagenesis, said.  “PG2 is another step toward our goal of global acceptance for drugs based on the properties of plants long used in Chinese medicine.”

Pharmagenesis hopes to complete trial batches of PG2 by September 2001.  Production will be done under the supervision of Chinese State Drug Administration (SDA).  The SDA employs stringent regulations the same as those used in U.S. FDA drug trials.

Pharmagenesis will hold a 70 percent share in the new company.  A marketing and sales force will be implemented once the SDA grants further authorizations.

About Pharmagenesis, Inc.

Pharmagenesis, Inc. develops anticancer therapies and treatments for cancer therapy-related bone-marrow suppression and for the management of transplant rejection.  The privately held company focuses on developing ethical pharmaceuticals from purified extracts of plants that have been employed in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 4,000 years.  Efficacy is validated by clinical trials conforming to standards of appropriate government regulatory agencies.  Pharmaceuticals developed and/or licensed by the company are being commercialized initially in the high-growth markets of China and Taiwan.

Pharmagenesis’ corporate headquarters and R & D facility, employing cutting-edge Western medical research techniques, are located in Palo Alto, Calif.  Pharmagenesis also has operations in Beijing and Taipei.

 

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