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Biopharma Companies Mix Medications and Cannabis
From eye drops for glaucoma to chewing gum for irritable bowel syndrome, cannabis derivatives are making their way into FDA-approved trials, according to a report from MedCityNews. Chief among the molecules of interest is cannabidiol (CBD), which does not deliver a hallucinogenic high. The chemical formula for CBD is C21H30O2.
Companies are applying cannabis-containing compounds to psychiatric illnesses, neurological disorders, and skin and digestive diseases.
The article lists five biopharma companies that are hoping to break into the cannabis therapeutics market.
- Zynerba Pharmaceuticals has a synthetic gel and a patch that can deliver CBD transdermally. Phase 2 data on the gel are expected in the first half of 2017. In addition, early-stage research is under way in subjects with post-traumatic stress disorder, autoimmune disorders, and cancer-related pain.
- Axim Biotechnologies is developing MedChewRx, a CBD-based chewing gum, which is being evaluated as a treatment for patients with spasticity and pain related to multiple sclerosis. An alternative formulation, CanChew Plus gum, is poised to enter clinics as a potential treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Additional studies are under way in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
- Kalytera is developing CBD prodrugs and formulations designed to overcome clinical limitations associated with natural CBD, including poor oral bioavailability and a short half-life.
- Insys Therapeutics has commercialized Subsys, a sublingual fentanyl spray for pain. The company is now applying its sublingual spray technology to deliver CBD for a variety of pediatric epilepsies, including Dravet syndrome, infantile spasms, and Lennox–Gastaut syndrome.
- Nemus Biosciences is evaluating a variety of CBD compounds for eye disorders, especially those associated with the posterior compartment of the eye. One of its lead assets, NB1111, is a CBD-based eye drop for glaucoma.
Source: MedCityNews; February 6, 2017.