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Botanical Drugs from bark of Pinus radiata

Media Release

19 July, 2002

New Company Launched to Develop
Botanical Drugs from bark of Pinus radiata


A new biomedical company has been established to develop botanical drugs initially targeted at alleviating the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The company, Aegis BioActives is a 50/50 joint venture between HortResearch (a Crown Research Institute) and Christchurch-based Biotechnology Company, Enzo Nutraceuticals Ltd.

It is the culmination of over 15 months successful collaborative research between the two parties.

Enzo Chief Executive Larry Stenswick says the Aegis BioActives founding team of 7 scientists have already developed fast and efficient ways to measure DNA damage and repair in humans.

“They will use this unique technology in the botanical drug development programme.

“The drugs will be based on natural extracts from Pinus radiata bark using Enzo’s patented extraction technology.

“The scientists have identified these extracts as exceptionally potent and effective agents.

“The findings in the area of DNA protection and DNA measurement also open the door to rapid progress in developing effective products to prevent many age-related diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and stroke,” says Mr Stenswick.

HortResearch CEO, Dr Ian Warrington says the company has made a significant investment in natural bioactives in recent years.

“By joining with Enzo we now have a lead product, a portfolio base and a clear path to market.

“With its validated biomedical technology and clinical trial programme, Aegis BioActives is a real leap forward toward our goal of proving the health benefits of these extracts.

The newly appointed Chief Scientific Officer for Aegis, Dr Iona Weir says Aegis BioActives is an exciting opportunity to build on New Zealand’s internationally competitive capability in the fast growing area of biotechnology.

“This initiative is a welcome investment in New Zealand scientists and technologies.

“For the first time New Zealand, natural plant extracts will be utilized to develop a botanical drug.

“The potential benefits to New Zealand and the health of New Zealanders are immense, says Dr Weir.

For more information:

Dr Iona Weir Larry Stenswick Dr Ian Warrington
Chief Scientific Officer Chief Executive Chief Executive
Aegis BioActives Enzo Nutraceuticals HortResearch
Ph: (09) 815 4200 Ph: (03) 358 1904 Ph: (06) 351 7000
Mob. 027 431 6434 Mob: 021 755 900 Mob: 021 748 759


19 July, 2002

Backgrounder


Enzo Nutraceuticals Ltd.

Enzo Nutraceuticals is a science-based international marketer of plant-based natural health products. Enzo has a patented method of extracting antioxidants and other bioactive compounds from pine bark using pure water and molecular selection, and has applied for patents in the use of its trademarked extract Enzogenol® to reduce DNA and protein damage in mammals, and for use in extending life.

Since its inception four years ago, Enzo has invested heavily in research and development in new generation potent antioxidant nutrients and its lead product Enzogenol® is a uniquely powerful product within this new class.

Enzo is rapidly opening international markets for Enzogenol® where it is distributed as a dietary supplement. In New Zealand it is distributed by Auckland based Nutra-Life Health & Fitness.

A recent pilot clinical study has shown Enzogenol® to have a positive effect on several key cardio risk factors, including body fat, blood pressure and circulation. This study also confirmed that Enzogenol® reduces DNA & protein damage within the body.

Aegis BioActives will participate in a double blind placebo-controlled clinical trial with Enzo Nutraceuticals starting in September. The trial will be conducted by the Lipid and Diabetes Research Group at Christchurch Hospital.

The Christchurch-based privately held company has manufacturing plants in Auckland and Waikato.


HortResearch Ltd

HortResearch is a scientific research company based in New Zealand, focused on horticulture, food and related industries. It was established in 1992 and is wholly owned by the New Zealand Government. While the bulk of its revenue is still derived from government contracts, that percentage is declining and its business with commercial clients both in New Zealand and overseas is growing.

The company is transforming from one primarily in traditional horticultural and food sciences to one taking up opportunities emerging from new technologies across the wider life sciences sector. Capability in R&D services and product development ensures that the potential embodied in unique intellectual property is developed and exploited for the benefit of the company’s partners.

HortResearch is among New Zealand’s 200 largest companies with more than 500 staff at 10 sites throughout the country. Research is focused on five inter-related areas: horticultural crops, bioactives, genomics, bioengineering and biomedical, and environment.


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