Aphios US Patent for Drug Manufacturing Process That Rapidly & Selectively Manufactures “Green” Medicines
June 29, 1999
Woburn, MA — Aphios Corporation has been granted United States Patent No. 5,750,709, entitled "Method and Apparatus for Isolating Therapeutic Compositions from Source Materials," which is now available for licensing.

The patented process utilizes supercritical, critical or near-critical fluids with or without cosolvents (SuperFluids™) for the selective and rapid manufacturing of natural medicines (pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals). SuperFluids™ are normally gases which, when compressed, exhibit enhanced solvation, penetration, expansion and disruption properties. These fluids can improve the isolation of natural medicines by a factor of 1,000 to 10,000 in times as low as 40 minutes in the laboratory to a nominal four hours per batch for large-scale processing in Aphios' SuperFluids™ critical fluid extraction and purification (CXP) process.

Natural medicines have developed rapidly in the last decade, especially among baby boomers looking to extend youth and with the trend in the general population for more natural solutions. Approximately 25 % of the pharmaceuticals in the US are either natural or semi-synthetically derived from natural sources, resulting in a marketplace of about $23 billion. The nutraceutical marketplace in the US, estimated to be $3 billion in 1996, is expanding at a compounded rate of more than 20 % per year.

In addition to speed and selectivity of extraction and purification, benefits of Aphios' SuperFluids™ technology include: (i) high overall yields (> 90 %) and purities (> 99.5 % for natural pharmaceuticals); (ii) production of either multiple single-molecule products (natural pharmaceuticals) or standardized multi-molecule products (nutraceuticals and herbal medicines); and (iii) reduced manufacturing costs (as much as 75 % for some natural pharmaceuticals). The CXP process does not require the use of toxic organic solvents (minimal environmental impact) and utilizes renewable biomass sources (minimal biodiversity impact) such as the green leaves of trees.

SuperFluids™ CXP technology can be utilized to manufacture nutraceutical products such as saw palmetto for the treatment of mild to moderate benign prostate enlargement and St. John's Wort for mild to moderate depression. Other candidate products include: ginseng used to boost mental and physical resistance to stress; ginkgo biloba used for increasing concentration and attention span as well as helping those suffering from Alzheimer's; kava kava used to combat anxiety; and echinacea used for the prevention and treatment of colds and flu; as well as specialty flavors and fragrances. The technology can also be utilized to manufacture natural pharmaceuticals such as taxols, bryostatins and camptothecins.

Research leading to the development of this technology was partially funded by Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants from the National Cancer Institute.

Aphios Corporation is a privately held research and development company developing research tools and industrial processes for the improved discovery, manufacturing, delivery and safety of naturally derived and genetically engineered therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, AIDS, and other infectious diseases in a cost-effective manner. The Company is profiled in a recent interview on WallStreetInterview.com.