VimRx Pharmaceuticals Inc., New York University MedicalCenter and Yeda Research and Development Co. of Israel saidthey have been issued a patent for the synthesis of hypericinfrom non-plant sources.

The patent is licensed to VimRx under its exclusive technologyagreement with NYU and Yeda.

Hypericin, from which VimRx makes its anti-viral drugVimRxyn, was originally extracted from the St. John's wort.Large-scale isolation of hypericin from plants is not feasiblebecause of the complexity of the process and low yield, thecompany said.

The patented synthesis process allows VimRx to producehypericin in commercially viable quantities.

VimRx (NASDAQ:VMRX) of Stamford, Conn., is developing drugsto fight the spread of viral and retroviral diseases. Its firstdrug, VimRxyn, is in NIH-sponsored Phase I human trialsagainst HIV/AIDS.

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