Phytopharm hoodia product development was delayed, somewhat, when Pfizer decided to take over the research in 2002. At that time Phytopharm planned to work on the development of a semi-synthetic version of the active molecule, leaving research and development of the naturally occurring molecule to the Natureceuticals group within Pfizer. Following the closure of the Natureceuticals group in July of 2003, Pfizer returned the rights to license the Phytopharm hoodia product. Pfizer stated that they believed another company would be better suited to continue the research and development of the hoodia appetite suppressant. This generated some concern that Pfizer was dissatisfied in some way with research results, but Pfizer actually stated that the clinical data encouraged further research of the Phytopharm hoodia product.
The Phytopharm and Unilever hoodia collaboration began in late 2004. In April of 2006, Phytopharm announced that phase 1 of the 5 stage research and development program had been completed. It may be years before any Phytopharm hoodia or Unilever hoodia products reach the market. Unilever does seem to be more committed to the project than Pfizer was. They initially agreed to collaborate with Phytopharm on studies of safety and effectiveness, as well as manage a program for farming hoodia gordonii.
Unilever hoodia would be added to the company's long list of consumer goods which includes the Slim Fast diet products. This may indicate that the Unilever/Phytopharm hoodia products will not be prescription drugs, as was the previous assumption, when Pfizer was involved. In press releases in 2006 Phytopharm states that they intend to bring new ?weight management products? to the market. In years past, press releases about Phytopharm hoodia specified a ?prescription drug for obesity?.
Consumer reaction to hoodia products currently being marketed by health supplement companies has been mostly positive. Hoodia XR and Hoodia Gordonii Plus are among the many products available. As the obesity problem in the United States continues to grow, dieters may not be able to wait for the Unilever hoodia products and they may not need to.
For more information about Phytopharm hoodia, visit the Hoodia Info Blog.
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