Phyton's primary revenue generator is plant cell-produced paclitaxel, the active ingredient in Bristol-Myers Squibb's Taxol, one of the leading drugs for ovarian and breast cancer. B-MS extended an agreement with Phyton in July for the supply of paclitaxel using its proprietary plant cell fermentation (PCF) process.
Other methods used for producing plant-derived compounds are extraction of the compound from harvested biomass or chemical synthesis of the compound. However, for many compounds large-scale production using either of these methods is unwieldy or expensive.
Phyton's PCF process involves growing plant cells to large scale in highly-controlled specialized fermenter tanks and inducing commercial-scale production of the desired compound.
The company operates research and development facilities in Ithaca, New York, and has a plant cell fermentation manufacturing unit in Ahrensburg, Germany. It will now operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of DFB.
Privately-held DFB sells pharmaceutical products, outsourcing services and licensing opportunities to the global health care industry through marketing affiliate organizations and contract partners.