November 29, 2004
PhytoMedical Expands Research Scope To Include Obesity And Diabetes
PhytoMedical Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB:PYTO), an early stage research based biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery, development and eventual commercialization of innovative plant derived pharmaceutical and nutraceutical compounds, announces its plans to expand its research and development efforts into two of the leading causes of mortality today - obesity and diabetes.
Obesity, according to the U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, is the "fastest-growing cause of illness and death in the United States" and results in at least 300,000 deaths each year from obesity-related diseases, ranging from heart disease and diabetes to stroke and certain types of cancer, including breast, prostrate and colon (National Institutes of Health).
Treating obesity related health problems costs Americans $117 billion annually - an average of $420 per person. At present, statistics show that 65% of U.S. adults and 27% of children and teenagers are either overweight or obese, up from 47% and 12% respectively in 1980.
Today, more than 44 million adults are considered medically obese, an increase of 74% since 1991 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So prevalent is the problem, that there's a long waiting list for bariatric surgery, more commonly known as stomach stapling. Last year, over 80,000 people underwent the surgery, including Al Roker, NBC's "Today" show weatherman and Sharon Osbourne of the "The Osbournes" on MTV.
Diabetes, which results from the body's inability to produce enough insulin or use it efficiently, affects 18.2 million people in the United States, or 6.3% of the population (American Diabetes Association). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects this number to rise to over 30 million by 2030. As the leading cause of end-stage renal disease, blindness and lower limb amputations, diabetes now costs the health care system over $132 billion each year.
"In addition to our first project targeting cachexia, a devastating muscle wasting disease which kills half of all late stage cancer patients and affects a quarter of all AIDS sufferers, we're very excited to also pursue the research and development of novel, plant derived compounds for obesity and diabetes," states Mr. Indy Panchi, President and CEO of PhytoMedical Technologies.
"The answers to our most perplexing and complex medical challenges lie waiting amongst the 250,000 species of higher plants, where some 300 new drugs worth an estimated $150 billion still remain to be discovered," continues Mr. Panchi. "To date, less than 15% of these plants have been investigated for bioactive compounds, which are now contained in 25% of all prescription drugs, including twenty of the best selling drugs."
About PhytoMedical Technologies, Inc.
PhytoMedical Technologies, Inc. (Symbol: PYTO), together with its wholly owned subsidiaries, is an early research based biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery, development and eventual commercialization of innovative plant derived pharmaceutical and nutraceutical compounds targeting cachexia, obesity and diabetes.
An estimated 300 new drugs of world-wide importance, worth over $150 billion, still remain to be discovered amongst the 250,000 species of higher plants found on earth, of which less than 15% have been investigated for bioactive compounds. Presently, twenty of the best selling drugs come from natural sources and 25% of all prescription drugs contain active compounds originally derived from or patterned after compounds derived from plants.
Named BDC-03, PhytoMedical's first plant derived compound has pharmacologically active elements that have been successful in reducing body fat percentage, increasing lean muscle mass and lowering cholesterol in studies of growing animals.
The same compound, BDC-03, administered over a three month period to a healthy 45 year old male subject, resulted in a 5% reduction in body fat and a 15 pound gain in muscle mass, indicating that the additional weight had been preferentially shifted toward lean muscle - with no appreciable change in diet or exercise.
Additionally, the male subject did not experience any alterations in facial or body hair, exacerbation of acne or alterations in liver function tests, which are androgenic symptoms commonly experienced after treatment with anabolic steroids.
For obese or overweight individuals, BDC-03's potential capacity to decrease the deposition of fat and lower cholesterol is a vitally important therapeutic outcome. However, its prospective ability to induce overall weight gain in the form of lean muscle mass may well be the difference between life and death for individuals suffering from cachexia.
Cachexia, which is characterized by dramatic weight loss, not only of fatty tissue, but also muscle tissue and bone, is among the most devastating and life-threatening aspects of AIDS and cancer. Once the body loses 30% of its lean muscle mass, major organs are affected, resulting in death.
Sadly, cachexia afflicts 25% of all AIDS patients and upwards of 90% of all advanced cancer patients. In fact, half of all cancer related deaths are a result of cachexia, not the cancer itself.
For additional information, please visit www.phytomedical.com.
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