Tribal appetite suppressant gives Phytopharm stock 50% boost
London - An appetite suppressant extracted from a plant found in the Kalahari Desert is the new hopeful for British Phytopharm plc. For Dutch food giant Unilever, who is cooperating with Phytopharm, a successful development of the drug will also be important. The company hopes that the potential appetite suppressor would bring a boost to its diet division, whose SlimFast brand has been hard hit in recent years by the growth of the Atkins diet and other slimming fads. Phytopharm may receive up to Euro30 million in milestone payments upon the successful development of the compound, which has been long known to African tribesman.
The first phase of development, wherein the ingredient is extracted from plants, has recently been completed successfully. Now, clinical trials of prototype pro ducts, such as drinks and bars containing the plant extract are under way. A Unilever spokesman said, that if all goes well, the drug could be launched by 2008. This news gave the struggling Phytopharm stock a 50% boost.