The tradition of using herbs and medicinal plants for healing is thousands of years old, and still is strong in many Asian cultures, not to mention European countries such as Germany and France. Ancile Pharmaceuticals Inc. hopes to capitalize on this tradition, and the growing market for herbal medicines in the U.S., by developing FDA-approved multi-component prescription or OTC drugs with specific therapeutic claims based on botanical products that are currently marketed worldwide.

"We're not in the dietary supplement business," said President and CEO Janice Thompson. "Our focus is how we make something into a modern drug, such as a sustained release formulation, instead of using large doses of an herbal product several times per day. Our market is really for the health care professional." Ancile thus plans to detail its products to physicians for use in a specific therapeutic indication, and expects that its products will have the added advantage of being reimbursed by health care payers.