AUSTIN, Texas (February 24, 2016) — The American Botanical Council (ABC) has named MediHerb of Warwick, Australia as the recipient of the 2015 ABC Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedical Research Award. MediHerb, an Integria Healthcare brand, is a leading natural products company that specializes in research-based botanical medicines designed by and for professional health care providers and clinicians.
“This is a great honor and a much-appreciated reward for our many years of research into the phytochemistry, quality, and therapeutic properties of medicinal plants,” said Professor Kerry Bone, co-founder of MediHerb and director of research and development.
The ABC Tyler Award was created to honor one of the most respected scientists in late-20th century herbal medicine and pharmacognosy (the study of medicines of natural origin). Professor Tyler was an early trustee of ABC, dean of the Purdue University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences for 20 years, and vice president of academic affairs at Purdue. He was the senior author of six editions of the leading textbook in the field, as well as numerous other professional and popular books and articles in the academic literature. Tyler encouraged scientific and product integrity, and envisioned a rational phytomedicinal health care sector that valued the proper evaluation of products’ quality, safety, and efficacy.
“I am a firm believer that herbal therapy (or phytotherapy) should always be adding to its clinical evidence base, but in a way that respects and is compatible with its traditional principles,” said Bone. “Understanding complex modern diseases in their totality and applying subtle but effective, chemically complex interventions underpinned by that knowledge is, to me, the height of rationality. This has always guided our research approach.”
Integria Healthcare invests more than $5 million in research and development each year, according to the company. Echinacea Premium and Kava Forte are two of MediHerb’s most popular clinically studied natural products.
“MediHerb and Integria Healthcare have supported around 25 human clinical trials of MediHerb products, 22 of which have been published in peer-reviewed journals,” said Hans Wohlmuth, PhD, manager of research and development at Integria. “In addition to clinical trials, MediHerb has funded a large number of phytochemistry and in vitro studies on botanicals. Much of this work has focused on quality issues, an area in which MediHerb has always been a leader.”
Both Bone and Wohlmuth are members of the ABC Advisory Board.
“ABC is pleased to recognize MediHerb for its strong commitment to conducting clinical research on its herbal products,” said Mark Blumenthal, ABC’s founder and executive director. “I consider MediHerb to be a prime example of Professor Tyler’s wish that herb and phytomedicinal companies document the efficacy of their products through appropriate clinical trials.”
ABC Chief Science Officer Stefan Gafner, PhD, said, “MediHerb is a company that has invested millions of dollars to back up the benefits of herbal medicine with sound science. This philosophy of testing products in human clinical studies as a basis for rational phytotherapy makes MediHerb a much-deserving awardee.”
Previous recipients of the ABC Tyler Award include Soho Flordis International (2014); Wakunaga Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd. (2013); Horphag Research (2012); Bioforce AG (2011); New Chapter, Inc. (2010); Bionorica AG (2009); Indena SpA (2008); and Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals (2007).
The ABC Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedical Research Award will be presented at the 11th Annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony on March 10, 2016, in Anaheim, California. The event, for ABC Sponsor Members, occurs during Natural Products Expo West.