Fighting the flab: hope for fatties, lift-off for bushmen.

Position:PRODUCTS & PROCESSES - Brief Article

Soon, money fat people spend to make themselves thin will be used on uplifting a traditionally poor people living in the Kalahari Desert, a dusty corner of southwest Africa. Fatties by the millions around the world are expected to flock to pharmacies and health shops to buy extracts of the wonder cactus hoodia gordoni to help shed the kilograms.

P57, the active ingredient in the cactus that stimulates and helps the San desert dwellers, colloquially known as Bushmen, stave off hunger during long hunting expeditions, was isolated by South Africa's Council for Scientific Research (CSIR) and drug firm, Phytopharm, and will hit the slimmers' market soon with sales estimated at an immediate $300m, quickly making inroads into the obesity-treatment market, worth around $3bn in the US alone.

In an intellectual property sharing agreement, the San people will receive 8% of all milestone payments from Phytopharm and 8% of global sales thereafter once the drug is marketed. Other deals in the bag and being negotiated include a $35m licensing arrangement with Anglo-Dutch food giant, Unilever, for the exclusive right...

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