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   Jun 09

The Discovery and Properties of Avemar – Fermented Wheat Germ Extract: Carcinogenesis Suppressor

http://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/5-6-2014/larryhbern/ The Discovery_and_Properties_of_Avemar – Fermented_ Wheat_Germ_Extract:_Carcinogenesis_Suppressor

The following discussion will be a review of the current interest in Avemar, a nontoxic, fermentation product of wheat germ extract, garnering interest with respect to alternative and complementary medicinal use.

Extracts from an interview by Sandra Cascio with Mate Hidvegi

Mate’s Transylvania Professor Lajos David was the organizer of the Department of Pharmacy of the University of Szeged in the 1920’s. He was elected as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, the first and only pharmacist who reached this high position at the University since. Dr. Hidvegy’s grandfather was a devout Roman catholic, who publicly opposed Nazi persecution of Jews during the Holocaust. One of his colleagues and, perhaps his best friend, was Albert Szent­Gyorgyi, the Nobel laureate who discovered vitaminC. Szent­Gyorgyi moved to the United States after World War II, where he turned to studies of muscle biochemistry. In his later years he turned to cancer research. He theorized that a revolutionary anticancer drug could be based upon vitamin C combined with methoxy­substituted benzoquinones, the precursors of which can be found in wheat germ. After completion of the PhD, Dr. Hidvegi spent two years with the Wheat Grain Trust in Winnipeg, Canada, before returning to Hungary in 1990. He decided to followthepathwaythat Szent­Gyorgyi was now engaged intocompletehisgoals.He contacted anoldfriend,GaborFodor, a brilliantchemist, also a collaborator withSzent­Gyorgyiincancerresearch.

He wasinvited by Hermann Esterbauer, the head of the Institute of Biochemistry at the University of Graz, to work in his laboratory. Thanks to the generosity of Professor Esterbauer, he accomplished much at Graz together with his student, Dr. Rita Farkas. It was soon after Szent­-Gyorgyi’s death when, with the help of Dr. Fodor, they prepared the chemicals to make the drug Szent­-Gyorgyi had intended to make, with encouragement from the great quantum­ biochemist, Janos Ladik. They made wheat germ extracts with the highest free benzoquinone content.This required a fermentation process to liberate the benzoquinone moieties from the chemical bonds which keep them in natural forms: in glycosides. He recalls the purple colored active molecules in the fermentation liquid. Living cells with their exo­ and endo­enzymes are used to split bonds and make new molecules. This is also true for the manufacturing process of Avemar. This extract contains new molecules which cannot be found elsewhere.

“WhenAvemar was voted by the majority of the more than 50,000 professionals for NutrAward, it became obvious that this product is of biological efficacy plus safety, and it is based on good science.” It received the financial support needed. From this, he was able to complete the experiments and get the approval for the registration. The time arrived when he really had to give a name to the product which had only had a code name. One late night it just came: Avemar, from the Latin prayer: Ave Maria.

Avemar with widely used chemotherapeutic drugs completely inhibited the development of metastases. Exploring its whole activity profile might even take a lifetime of research. So far he has supervised Avemar research done in Hungary, Israel, the United States, Austria, Italy, Spain, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany,the United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, Korea, Vietnam. It has been a good experience to see the scientific interest it has generated worldwide. In 2009, Dr. Hidvegy received an invitation from the Nobel laureate, James Watson, co­discoverer of DNA’s double helix. It was a great honor. Avemar, he hopes,will be a significant cancer drug.

Mate Hidvegi was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1955. He studied, then taught at what is now Budapest University of Technology and Economics. After finishing university, he worked in the cereal industry and was co­developer of patented feed advisory system based on near infrared ingredient data. In Hungary, Hidvegi was one of the pioneers in the development of technologies for large ­scale production of instantized extracts for therapeutic use.

Carcinogenesis vol.22 no.10 pp.1649–1652, 2001

Source: Pharmaceutical Intelligence

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