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CVT-E002 is a proprietary, patented natural compound, consisting mainly of poly-furanosyl-pyranosyl-saccharides isolated from the dried root of North American ginseng. The extraction process used is a proprietary ChemBioPrintTM technology detailed in US Patent # 6,156,291.10 (The ChemBioPrint process was developed by CV Technologies and is designed to ensure that each lot is standardized according to precise chemical composition and biological activity through in vitro immunological assays.) Further details on the method of extraction are available in US Patent # 6,432,454 B1.11

According to the manufacturer of this extract (CV Technologies, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), CVT-E002 is composed of 80% poly-furanosyl-pyranosyl-saccharides, which consist of sugar components, including rhamnose, glucose, galacturonic acid, galctose, and arabinose, indicating that the polysaccharide chain structure consists of mixed furanosyl and pyranosyl ring sugars. According to the manufacturers, the remainder of the extract has been identified as 10% protein with the remaining 10% comprised of residual moisture, with trace amounts of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and small organic molecules. The extract contains no ginsenosides. A detailed overview of the monsaccharide composition, total carbohydrate, and protein composition of CVT-E002 can be found in US Patent # 6,432,454 B1.11

The published literature on the chemistry of Panax spp. is primarily focused on the triterpene saponins known as ginsenosides.17,18,19 Although less notable in the literature, research on the isolation, characterization, and immunological activity of polysaccharides in both P. ginseng and P. quinquefolius precedes the isolation and characterization of the polysaccharides comprising CVT-E002.11

A series of investigations focused on the isolation, characterization, and biological evaluation of polysaccharides from P. ginseng root were carried out by Tomoda and colleagues at the Kyoritsu College of Pharmacy in Tokyo, Japan. In one set of studies, ginseng polysaccharides were fractionated based on their acidity.5,20 Two polysaccharides with immunological activity were isolated and named ginsenan PA and ginsenan PB. Quantitative analysis showed that ginsenan PA contained 21.3% arabinose, 53.4% galactose, 2.0% rhamnose, 16.0% galacturonic acid, and 2.7% glucuronic acid. The molar ratios of these component sugars were 11:22:1:6:1. Ginsenan PB contained 32.2% galactose, 8.1% rhamnose, 39.9% galacturonic acid, and 5.0% glucuronic acid, with a molar ratio of 3:7:2:8:1. Another study by the same group isolated an additional 2 polysaccharides from P. ginseng root that were called ginsenan S-IA and ginsenan S-IIA.6 Ginsenan S-IA contained 42.3% arabinose, 50.8% galactose, and 6.9% galacturonic acid with a molar ratio of 8:8:1. Ginsenan S-IIA contained 42.0% L-arabinose, 32.6% galactose, 6.2% glucose, and 19.2% galacturonic acid in a molar ratio of 15:10:2:5.

Several polysaccharide fractions have been isolated from P. ginseng leaves and roots and their chemical properties and biological activities compared.21 The roots were found to be higher in polysaccharides and the strongly acidic fractions from the roots were found to have a high content of uronic acid (> 50%). Component sugars detected from all fractions included rhamnose, arabinose, galactose, glucose, galacturonic acid, and glucuronic acid. Galacturonic acid was the main uronic acid component.

In a study completed at the Pharmaceutical Institute, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, 3 polysaccharides, designated quinquefolans A, B, and C, were isolated from the roots of P. quinquefolius.7 For quinquefolan A, the neutral sugar components were mannose and glucose (molar ratio, 1.0:2.3). Mannose and glucose (molar ratio, 1.0:5.5) were the primary neutral sugar components quinquefolan B and xylose for quinquefolan C. The acidic sugar components in quinquefolans A through C were found to be 10.8, 11.7, and 7.1% (by weight), respectively. The peptide moieties in these glycans were 2.7, 2.9, and 2.3%, respectively.

In a study completed at the Department of Biology in the University of Ottawa, a polysaccharide-rich water extract from the roots of P. quinquefolius was shown to have significant tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) stimulating activity in vitro.8 When subject to acid hydrolysis, the fraction was found to contain glucose, galactose, arabinose, and rhamnose in the approximate ratio of 85:8:6:1, as well as 2 other monosaccharides, fuctose and mannose, in smaller amounts. Further acid hydrolysis also indicated the presence of approximately 9% uronic acid in the extractable polysaccharide fraction.