Companies to use largely untapped Traditional Chinese Medicine as a starting point.

Chi-Med’s wholly owned drug R&D subsidiary Hutchinson MediPharma and Merck signed a collaboration agreement for future joint research efforts focusing on discovering novel anti-cancer drugs derived from natural products that modulate oncological pathways. Financial details were not disclosed.

Chi-Med sees Traditional Chinese Medicine as a major, under-exploited reservoir for the development of novel drugs for the global pharmaceutical market and for developing new products for the global health and beauty consumer markets. Plants, particularly those that have been used as traditional medicines, have a long-established record of efficacy and safety.

Samantha Du, Ph.D., CSO and executive vp of Chi-Med, said, “The goal of this collaboration is to leverage the expertise of both Merck and Chi-Med in oncology research. This collaboration will allow us to address important unmet medical needs by accessing natural products, a rich source of diversified chemical components with drug-like properties.”

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