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Rutgers spinoff success yields $4.3 million payback to university

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. The Rutgers spinoff company, Phytomedics Inc., has signed a new research agreement that will bring almost $4.3 million in grant funding from the company to the university during the next five years. Rutgers will use the funding to stimulate research on botanical therapeutics, which include botanical drugs, nutraceuticals and plant-produced novel proteins. Many botanical therapeutics developed through this research will be natural, scientifically designed and optimized mixtures of plant-produced, health-promoting phytochemicals (natural chemicals in plants) that will supplement or substitute for conventional drugs.

"For centuries people have used plants for healing," said Ilya Raskin, Phytomedics co-founder and professor of plant science at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. "The 20th century gave us the 'pill option,' which diminished the historical connection between plants and disease treatment, but now, plants are poised for a comeback as sources of human health products."

Phytomedics is a Dayton, N.J.-based life sciences company that grew out of the laboratories and greenhouses at Rutgers. It focuses on human health care and plant biotechnology with the goal of discovering, developing and manufacturing new plant-based pharmaceuticals, botanical drugs and other related products. It is funded by private investors and the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology. Phytomedics is currently taking a series of botanical drug candidates through clinical and preclinical development. It is also engaged in the manufacture of novel therapeutic proteins in plants. To date, Rutgers has received more than $2 million in grant funding from Phytomedics.

"The new grant from Phytomedics validates Rutgers' efforts to promote commercial ventures through the transfer of technologies produced by university research," said Joseph J. Seneca, university vice president for academic affairs. "These funds w
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Contact: Joseph Blumberg
blumberg@ur.rutgers.edu
732-932-7084 x652
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
12-Aug-2002


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