Excerpted from a May 17, 2000 article
How this concoction (PC-SPES) came to the attention of top doctors is a tale of cooperation between a Chinese herbal-medicine doctor and an American chemist. The doctor is Allan Xuwui Wang, and it was his great-grandfather who developed a rudimentary version of this potion as court physician to the last Chinese emperor in the early 1900s. The recipe for that potion, believed from the start to help with men's urological problems, passed from generation to generation of Dr. Wang's family.
In 1987 Dr. Wang heard a U.S. chemist, Sophie Chen, give a speech in Shanghai. Dr. Chen, then a researcher with Bayer AG, expressed an interest in combining Chinese herbal medicine and Western science. They began working together, doing animal research and eventually coming up with the current version of their treatment.
Ultimately, the family of Dr. Chen, now on the faculty of New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y., founded a company called BotanicLab to make and sell the product. Word-of-mouth testimony from users got PC-SPES off the ground, and patients started telling their doctors about it.