Phyton Biotech's history is inspiring. It started with two talented postdocs at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. They had an idea that most people at the time thought would be impossible to realize -- to produce paclitaxel from plant cell cultures instead of the rare and slow growing Pacific yew tree. The bark of the Pacific yew was the original source of paclitaxel, the active ingredient in Bristol-Myers Squibb's TAXOL® oncology product for the treatment of breast, ovarian and other forms of cancer. The need for paclitaxel was so great that environmentalists feared its widespread use would make the Pacific yew extinct. Some estimates at the time predicted at least one tree would be destroyed for each patient treated! Today a single vial from our working cell bank produces enough paclitaxel to treat many patients.
Phyton Biotech was founded in 1990 in Ithaca, NY with the objective of developing manufacturing solutions for complex plant-derived compounds through plant cell culture technology. The 1993 acquisition of Phyton GmbH in Ahrensburg, Germany, the largest cGMP plant cell culture facility in the world with fermentors up to 75,000 L in size, advanced Phyton's objectives toward commercial reality.
Today Phyton has a long-term supply agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb for the production of paclitaxel. With enough paclitaxel manufacturing capacity to supply most of the world's requirement, Phyton has provided Bristol-Myers Squibb with a secure and environmentally friendly source of paclitaxel for TAXOL®. In June 2004, Bristol-Myers Squibb received the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for Phyton's environmentally friendly production of paclitaxel.
In 2003, Phyton Biotech was acquired by DFB Pharmaceuticals, a private Texas-based pharmaceutical company with an established commercial history (http://www.dfb.com). The acquisition has strengthened Phyton Biotech's technology with the addition of financial, legal and technical resources, and has expanded its options in the pharmaceutical marketplace.
In October 2009, Phyton Biotech, LLC acquired Natural Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NPI), a leading manufacturer of oncology drug active pharmaceutical ingredients (API's). In making this acquisition, Phyton acquired the assets of NPI, which included intellectual property and patents for the production of taxane API's, a fully-staffed cGMP manufacturing facility in Delta, BC, Canada, and an API manufacturing subsidiary in Shanghai, China, Syntax Biotechnology, LTD.
Capabilities added to the Phyton organization with the NPI acquisition include commercially approved paclitaxel in more than 40 countries in global markets. DMF for paclitaxel production at Phyton Vancouver; CEP approval for commercial paclitaxel sales in Europe; DMF for commercial docetaxel in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The new organization unites Phyton affiliate, Phyton Biotech GmbH, the world's largest cGMP plant cell fermentation facility dedicated to primary taxane production with NPI's proprietary downstream synthesis of paclitaxel, docetaxel, and additional API's.