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PHYTOPHARMACEUTICALS INC. AND MACRONEX INC. SIGN COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH AGREEMENT

 SAN CARLOS, Calif., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- PHYTOpharmaceuticals Inc. (PPI), a subsidiary of ESCAgenetics Corp. (AMEX: ESN), today announced that it has signed a research and development agreement with Macronex Inc. This agreement will bring together Macronex's unique, proprietary macrophage technology and PPI's certified plant extracts, natural product chemistry and proprietary plant cell culture technology.
 "By combining the expertise and technology of our two companies," said Dr. Thomas M. Glenn, PPI president and COO, "we hope to greatly increase the number of promising compounds we can develop and the speed with which we can develop them."
 Under the agreement, PPI will provide Macronex with certified plant extracts and compounds. These compounds will be evaluated for their effect on human macrophages, using Macronex's unique bioassay technology. This bioassay technology uses human cells to quickly test the activity of target compounds versus that of more than 120 pharmaceuticals in the Macronex database.
 Once plant extracts with selected activity are found, PPI will use its natural product chemistry to isolate, identify and characterize the promising compounds. The most promising compounds will be optimized by medicinal chemistry and/or plant cell propagation.
 "We are excited to be working with PHYTOpharmaceuticals," said Dennis D. Burns, Macronex president and CEO. "Through the combination of our proprietary technology and their expertise in plant-based drugs, we hope to identify and develop new compounds that have potential as human therapies."
 Macronex is a biotechnology research and development company with facilities in Morrisville, N.C. Macronex focuses on the macrophage, an important type of white blood cell that initiates immune system responses with the potential to selectively regulate immune disorders. Macronex has unique evaluation systems to develop novel therapeutics to address acute and chronic inflammatory diseases, such as adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
 PHYTOpharmaceuticals, based in San Carlos, is a plant-based drug discovery company that combines biotechnology and biodiversity for the discovery, development and commercialization of novel human therapeutics, based upon a comprehensive plant-sourcing, proprietary plant cell culture technology and a pharmacological screening program. PPI's resources include plant collection and certified extract production laboratories in China, Brazil and Thailand, some of the most biodiverse regions of the world.
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 /CONTACT: Dr. Thomas M. Glenn, president & COO of PHYTOpharmaceuticals, 415-595-5335; or Dennis D. Burns, president & CEO of Macronex, 919-481-4390/
 (ESN)


CO: ESCAgenetics; PHYTOpharmaceuticals Inc.; Macronex Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

GT-TM -- SF004 -- 8942 11/01/93 08:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 1, 1993
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