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New Earth BioMed Launches Natural-Product-Based Cancer Drug Discovery Program

Thursday, August 5, 2010 Drug News J E 4
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IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 4 New Earth BioMed, a new 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, has launched a long-term drug discovery program to identify mixtures of nontoxic plant compounds useful in treating cancer. An estimated 77 percent of approved cancer and anti-infective drugs in the United States are either natural products or are derived from them. Of the tens of thousands of bioactive natural products that exist, New Earth BioMed is identifying those that act synergistically in mixtures to inhibit cancer.

"This new screening program is representative of a new breed of drug discovery initiatives brought about through an evolution in biological understanding," said New Earth BioMed President John Boik, Ph.D. "Recent advances in bioinformatics, analytical technology and other related fields are strongly pointing to the concept that activities of a cell are dictated by a complex and dynamic internal web of protein interactions." Boik said the so-called "silver bullet model" of drug development that reigned supreme over the last 20 years is giving way to a new model that better embraces the complexities of life. For complex chronic diseases such as cancer, this new model, based on systems biology, promises more effective and safer drugs, Boik said. "Our task at New Earth BioMed is to discover mixtures of botanical compounds that affect the protein network as a whole, not just a single protein in the network," Boik said. "It is like stepping out of the forest to see the trees."

New Earth BioMed is financed by donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations, as well as public grants. President John Boik is the author of two books on natural products and cancer, has a doctorate from the University of Texas/M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and has done postdoctoral work at Stanford University. For more information, visit the New Earth BioMed Web site at www.newearthbiomed.org.

CONTACT: John Boik, Ph.D. office@newearthbiomed.org 323-568-1584

SOURCE New Earth BioMed
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