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ESCAGENETICS RECEIVES A SECOND TAXOL PATENT: 'SYNTHESIS OF TAXANES IN CULTURE'

 SAN CARLOS, Calif., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- ESCAgenetics Corp. (AMEX: ESN) today announced that it has received notice of allowance of a basic patent for the production of Taxanes using tissue culture. The patent is expected to be issued shortly.
 This is the second patent issued to ESCAgenetics for the production of taxol and related molecules, using the company's proprietary technology. Last October, the company also received notice of allowance of another patent for
"in vivo Production of Taxanes." Taxanes, also known as Taxoids, are members of a group of chemically related compounds with potential anti-tumor properties. A member of this group, taxol, is a promising anti-cancer compound approved by the FDA.
 ESCAgenetics' patent broadly protects the company's related technologies because it covers the production of taxoids from any member of the genus Taxus. In comparison, a 1991 USDA patent covered production of taxol or taxol-like compounds, from only one species, T. brevifolia. Additionally, ESCAgenetics' patent also protects specific types of plant cell masses created through tissue culture that produce these taxoids, as well as the method of creation of these special plant cell masses.
 "We are pleased that ESCAgenetics has been awarded these patents since they provide broad coverage for our taxoids production technology. The combination of our two powerful patent protections will provide us with strong protection of two processes for the production of taxol and other taxoids directly from seedlings in one case, and through the use of plant cell tissue culture in the other case," said Dr. Raymond J. Moshy, chairman of ESCAgenetics. Some of these taxoids may be further developed by our subsidiary, PHYTOpharmaceuticals Inc., a company created to discover and develop plant-based pharmaceuticals.
 ESCAgenetics Corp. is a publicly traded company that develops and produces high-value, plant-derived products.
 -0- 1/13/94
 /CONTACT: Dr. Raymond J. Moshy, chairman, or William J. Koenig, executive vice president, of ESCAgenetics, 415-595-5335/
 (ESN)


CO: ESCAgenetics Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

LW-TM -- SF007 -- 1657 01/13/94 07:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 13, 1994
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