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PHYTON CATALYTIC ENTERS INTO COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB FOR TAXOL PRODUCTION

      PHYTON CATALYTIC ENTERS INTO COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH
               BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB FOR TAXOL PRODUCTION
    ITHACA, N.Y., Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Phyton Catalytic, Inc., today announced that it has established a collaborative research and development partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) to develop a plant cell tissue culture process for the production of taxol. Financial and licensing terms of the annually renewable contract were not disclosed.
    Taxol is a promising anti-cancer agent now derived only from the bark of the Pacific yew tree, Taxus brevifolia, found primarily in the Pacific Northwest.  The drug is currently in Phase III clinical trials for recurrent ovarian cancer under the auspices of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  To expedite the development of taxol required to make it more widely available to cancer patients, NCI signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb in January 1991.
    In addition to supplying taxol to NCI, Bristol-Myers Squibb is actively investigating alternative sources of the drug, which has eluded chemical synthesis to date.  Phyton Catalytic, Inc., has been chosen by Bristol-Myers Squibb to use its proprietary plant cell technologies to develop a taxol production process.
    Phyton Catalytic, Inc., was the first commercial group to produce taxol in a tissue culture system and holds an exclusive license to the USDA patent for the process.  Phyton Catalytic has received research and development grants through the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health, and is working with a multi-sectored consortium to develop techniques and equipment for tissue culture production of taxol.
    Phyton Catalytic, Inc., headquartered in Ithaca, is a plant biotechnology company dedicated to the development and supply of a variety of high value plant derived compounds for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, and specialty chemicals industries.
    -0-                      11/14/91
    /CONTACT:  Rus Howard, president of Phyton Catalytic, 607-257-5058/
    (BMY) CO:  Bristol-Myers Squibb; Phyton Catalytic, Inc. ST:  New York IN:  MTC SU: GK -- NY083 -- 1184 11/14/91 14:55 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 14, 1991
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