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Phytopharm puts faith in herbal remedies

Phytopharm puts faith in herbal remedies
VIETNAMESE herbal remedies passed down through generations could be used to cure three chronic diseases, according to Phytopharm's chief executive, Richard Dixey.

The company said yesterday that it had taken an option agreement to evaluate three plant-based treatments from the Vietnamese herbal practitioner Dr Ba Hoang.

Mr Dixey said: "Ba's family have been collecting data on these medicines for three generations. It's very rare to find a trained herbalist who also has a PhD. This is tremendously exciting. These herbs have been drawn from Chinese and Indian medical traditions, as Vietnam is the corridor between the two."

Mr Dixey said the most exciting treatment of the three was for a rare blood disorder called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. This is a disease that can see blood platelet counts fall as low as zero. The disease is currently incurable.

Phytopharm is now seeking approval for use of patient notes to put forward a proposal for formal clinical trials. If they are successful, Phytopharm has the option for rights to drugs made out of the active ingredients of the herbal compounds.

The other two disorders that could be treated with Dr Hoang's herbal combinations are chronic glomerulonephritus, a kidney disorder, and asthma. Mr Dixey said: "Obviously it is more difficult to test results for asthma, so we will be proceeding with caution." Phytopharm shares rose 1 to 675p.

By Rosie Murray-West
Published: 12:00AM GMT 08 Nov 2000

Telgraph.co.uk 


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