US & PERUVIAN COMPANIES COLLABORATE TO PRODUCE NATURAL MEDICINES BASED ON INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE

From Lexis-Nexis, dated September 2004.

[MFB Note: I cannot verify this article's claim that the two firms in question are in full compliance with the CBD and that they are collaborating with indigenous communities in Peru. Neither firm's website provides supporting documentation.]

Unigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Broomfield, Colo., a leading research and development facility and supplier of proprietary, biologically active plant-derived ingredients to the natural products and pharmaceutical industries, has entered into a collaboration agreement for plant collection and product development with Inca Health, an agro-industrial company based in Lima, Peru.

Unigen and Inca Health will work closely together with indigenous tribes to collect native plants from the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest and Andes Mountains that have a history of ethnomedicinal use in order to identify lead compounds for the development of pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical and functional food products. Applying natural product chemistry and high throughput screening, Unigen will fractionate the Peruvian plant extracts for further laboratory testing in appropriate biological, biochemical, genomic, and proteomic models. "The Peruvian Rainforest-the richest biological incubator on the planet supporting millions of plant, animal and insect species-has long been considered a crucial link between humans and nature," said Dr. Qi Jia, Unigen's vice president of Scientific Affairs. "Inca Health's vast pharmacognosy and production experience with Peru's biodiversity, along with Unigen's state-of-the-art natural product research laboratories, provides the perfect match for developing novel health products."

According to Adrian Poblete Espinosa, president of Inca Health, "Many secrets and untold botanical treasures await to be discovered in our rainforests and mountains-plants that are rich in beneficial nutrients, phytochemicals and active constituents. By partnering with Unigen Pharmaceuticals, we are confident that we will jointly develop health products that will benefit many people the world over." Both Unigen and Inca Health operate in full compliance with the United Nations Convention of Biodiversity, also known as the Biodiversity Treaty, with a commitment to promoting conservation and sustainable use of tropical medicinal plants native to Peru, and providing technology transfer, benefit sharing and recognition of the value of traditional knowledge to the source country, as well as supporting economic development of local communities.

About Inca Health Inca Health is an agro-industrial company based in Lima, Peru, that manufactures natural botanical extracts cultivated from the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest and Andes Mountains by its corporate scientists, local staff and indigenous tribes. Inca Health has a team of research scientists involved in exploring and studying new applications for Rainforest Botanicals, including Maca and Lutein, for which Inca Health holds extraction patents. Inca Health operates out of a GMP-rated facility and guarantees consistent quality in its raw materials and finished products. Further information can be obtained at http://www.incahealth.com.

About Unigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Unigen is a leading natural products research and development company and proprietary ingredients supplier. The company is dedicated to the discovery of botanically derived therapeutic compounds that address consumer health needs and help improve the quality of human life. Its research and discovery process includes extensive work at both the human cell and gene level. Unigen, and sister company Aloecorp, are subsidiaries of Univera, Inc. Unigen and Aloecorp each focus on identifying and studying the unique ingredients of medicinal botanicals (Aloecorp's focus is on Aloe vera) and then formulating proprietary raw materials for use in cosmeceutical, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. For more information, visit http://www.unigenpharma.com.