New owner for plant cell production firm

Related tags Bristol-myers squibb

DFB Pharmaceuticals has acquired fellow US company Phyton to gain
access to the latter's plant cell fermentation technology for the
manufacture of pharmaceuticals.

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.

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