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Next Pharmaceuticals: dedicated to discovery.

Next Pharmaceuticals (NP), Salinas, CA was founded by Charles Kosmont, a successful manager of start-up, rapid growth and turnaround companies in the food and healthy living industries, along with Bob Garrison, Jr., a licensed pharmacist who wrote and published sixteen books, including co-writing The Pharmacist's Guide to Over the Counter Medicine and Natural Remedies.

The company develops new, patented, natural ingredients for healthy living that are sold through the dietary supplement, food and beverage markets. Since its inception in 1997, NP has developed six patented or proprietary plant extracts in an effort to expand the choices for self-care products, while providing consumer brands with powerful differentiation.

"The first few years were spent extensively researching ingredients that were being used by other cultures and yet had little recognition here in the U.S. This meant developing a 'think tank' of scientific advisors to guide us through the process," Mr. Kosmont explained. "There were two major objectives that followed in our development--setting high standards with quality control and providing hard science through laboratory research, animal and human clinical trials. We also published studies to lend credence to our results."

While the company maintains one foot in the natural products industry, it has its foot partially in the pharmaceutical sector as well. The company's rigorous research and quality control is modeled after the pharmaceutical industry, yet it only deals with natural ingredients--researching and developing for those who prefer a less toxic, alternative approach. The founders pioneered a unique niche in developing new, patented ingredients they consider to be "pre-pharmaceutical."

"We are at the interface of pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements," said Mr. Kosmont. "The company starts with botanicals that have been used as traditional medicine in some countries and then we apply pharmaceutical technologies such as fractionation, pharmacology and toxicology, eventually moving into human clinical trials."

To understand the scientific lengths the company goes to in order to substantiate its products, it helps to look at a product that has undergone recent investigation. The University of Texas just completed research on NP's product Nexrutine, a proprietary plant extract developed from the phellodendron tree (Phellodendron amurense). The laboratory study funded by the National Institutes on Health, and conducted by University of Texas, San Antonio, Department of Urology, clearly demonstrated Nexrutine's ability to kill prostate cancer cells, according to the company. This study was published in the journal Neoplasia.

Subsequently, the results of the animal trial conducted at the University of Texas supported the laboratory findings, and was published in the May 2007 edition of Clinical Cancer Research, a peer-reviewed journal. "This is just one of the compelling company stories to follow this upcoming year," Mr. Kosmont said. "We also has a product for anxiety, Relora; one for sleep, Seditol; as well as a new pipeline of products addressing cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoarthritis."

Speaking of new products, Flavoxine reflects the company's latest development in the realm of heart health. In fact, it was recently hailed as the most promising ingredient for lowering cholesterol by Frost and Sullivan (January 2007) among all the other natural cholesterol-reducing formulations. Further, Frost and Sullivan stated that Flavoxine would soon "storm the market." NP claims that this proprietary blend of ingredients was shown in a clinical trial to not only lower bad cholesterol (LDL), but also raise good cholesterol (HDL). In addition, it was shown to significantly reduce both C-reactive protein (CRP) and blood pressure.

Citrofen is the company's newest offering in the osteoarthritis arena. In a clinical trial of 80 subjects with osteoarthritis of the knee, Citrofen reduced stiffness caused by pain and swelling by almost 50%, according to the company. NP says these results are far better than what is being seen from those taking glucosamine.

Chromulin is another new creation from the company. This product is available for functional foods, beverages and dietary supplements, targeting heart health, diabetes, anti-aging and weight management. The company claims it is a safer, more stable, better absorbed, water-soluble form of chromium.

With its product portfolio bursting with new additions, NP is looking forward to an exciting future in the nutraceuticals market. "Consumers are looking for preventative ways to deal with chronic conditions and the Baby Boomer market is the driving force for this market," Mr. Kosmont said. "They are seeking preventative information and products that can help them maintain a better quality of life and live longer."

Along with the excitement, however, there are some issues to consider. "The regulatory environment is a challenging aspect. There should be a regulatory arena for products that fall between dietary supplements and drugs," said Mr. Kosmont. "This used to be labeled over-the-counter (OTC), but that changed in the early 1960s. Now the only place to function is under dietary supplement laws and regulations."

He went on to say that the food and beverage industries also hold enormous promise for nutraceutical ingredients. "If we can add functionality to food and beverages (to the extent that legislation allows), these delivery forms will work best," he said.

Whatever market the company pursues, Mr. Kosmont said it's important to remember that success is not determined by size--it's about focusing on what you do best. "It's also about making sure we continue to develop products that meet the market needs," he added. "The Baby Boomer market is phenomenal and is driving a lot of market needs (and will be for a long time). We need to pay attention to the demands of this market because it represents unprecedented opportunities."

In the end, Mr. Kosmont firmly believes it's important to have a passion for what you are doing in order to achieve true success in the market. "When we set out, the driving passion was to provide formulations that had hard science behind them," he explained. "This not only created our reputation, but drove the success behind all that we developed."

Unfortunately, the company experienced the unexpected death of Bob Garrison earlier this year. Acknowledging his enormous contribution to Next Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Kosmont offered, "His innovative spirit and passion for excellence is infused into everything we do here at Next and we continue to go forward with many of the endeavors he initiated."

Mr. Kosmont continued, "Bob had a favorite quote that I feel captures the essence of the development of the company. It's by Albert Szent-Gyorgi who discovered Vitamin C in 1937: 'Discovery consists in seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought.'"
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Title Annotation:COMPANIES TO WATCH
Publication:Nutraceuticals World
Article Type:Company overview
Date:Jun 1, 2007
Words:1069
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