Pfizer pulls out of Phytopharm collaboration

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: License

Botanical drug specialist Phytopharm suffered a setback yesterday
when Pfizer withdrew from a collaboration to develop P57, a drug
for obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Botanical drug specialist Phytopharm suffered a setback yesterday when Pfizer withdrew from a collaboration to develop P57, a drug for obesity and metabolic syndrome.

The UK firm saw its shares decline by a third to 175 pence on the announcement but put a brave face on the development. Chief executive Richard Dixey said that it was a result of Pfizer's closure of its Natureceuticals division, which came about as a result of its $66 billion (€58bn) merger with Pharmacia, and did not reflect on the potential of P57. He stressed that Phytopharm is now free to license the program to another partner.

P57 is produced from the Hoodia cactus, which grows in the Kalahari desert and has been used by bushmen for thousands of years to stave off hunger during hunting trips.

Dixey noted that Phytopharm recently initiated its own project looking at synthetic obesity compounds derived from the P57 project and has a number of other projects based on pharmaceutical-grade botanical extracts in development. Meanwhile, in May the company signed a $33 million licensing agreement with Japan's Yamanouchi for a neuro-regenerative Alzheimer's product candidate called PYM50028.

Related topics: Preclinical Research, Ingredients

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