Biotech Benefits of Cannabinoid Compounds Pushing Cannabis-based Drug Development to New Levels

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 Drug News
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PALM BEACH, Florida, September 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

The immediate

future of cannabinoid-based drug development hinges the ability to produce cannabinoids identical to those found in nature in a safe, consistent and economical fashion to propel the industry forward. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are racing to
identify the newest and latest potential medical benefits to advance the development of cannabis medicines for pharmaceutical, botanical and nutraceutical applications. Active companies in the market today include: Therapix Biosciences Ltd. (NASDAQ: TRPX), Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: TEVA), 22nd Century Group Inc. (NYSE: XXII), WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V: WMD) (OTC: WDDMF) and GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH).

Therapix Biosciences Ltd. (NASDAQ: TRPX), a specialty, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focusing on the development of cannabinoid-based drugs, today announced new pre-clinical data generated in the Company's development program for the treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment, or MCI. Therapix's proprietary ultra-low dose tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC") drug candidate ("THX-ULD01") significantly reversed age-related cognitive impairment in old mice (p?0.01). The pre-clinical animal study was designed and conducted by Professor Yosef Sarne of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University.  "The data from this pre-clinical animal study suggest that extremely low doses of THC, which are devoid of any psychotropic effect and do not induce desensitization, could potentially provide a safe and effective treatment for cognitive decline in aging humans," remarked Professor Sarne.  Read this entire release and more news for TRPX at:

In the study, old female mice (24-month-old) were injected once with 0.002 mg/kg of THC, which is 3-4 orders of magnitudes lower than doses that induce the conventional cannabinoid effects in mice. These mice performed significantly better than vehicle-treated old mice, and performed similarly to naive young mice aged 2 months, in six different behavioral assays that measured various aspects of memory and learning. The beneficial effect of THC lasted for at least seven weeks. Professor Sarne added, "the model demonstrated a relatively long-lasting increase in neuroprotection and neuroplasticity, as well as a larger volume and higher tissue density in various regions of the brain of THC-treated old mice as measured by MRI."

Adi Zuloff-Shani, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer of Therapix, stated, "These promising data obtained by Professor Sarne and his team further demonstrate the clinical and commercial potential of THX-ULD01 for the treatment of MCI. Based on the discovery of significantly improved therapeutic impact at ultra-low doses (ULD) of THC, it is our continued belief that THX-ULD01 has the potential to fulfill the growing unmet medical need in MCI." Dr. Zuloff-Shani continued, "Further, these data echo similar findings in pre-clinical models that demonstrate the neuroprotective role of ULD THC, which are expected to be followed by human trials for this potential first-in-class therapy."

Professor Sarne's scientific publication detailing these findings, titled, "Reversal of age-related cognitive impairments in mice by an extremely low dose of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)," was recently accepted for publication in Neurobiology of Aging, and will be presented at the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines' (IACM) 9th Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine being held September 29-30, 2017 in Cologne, Germany.

In other industry news and market performance of note:

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (NYSE: TEVA) closed up slightly on Tuesday at $17.26 with over 8.2 million shares traded by the market close. Teva Pharmaceutical develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes generic medicines and a portfolio of specialty medicines worldwide. It operates through two segments, Generic Medicines and Specialty Medicines. The Generic Medicines segment offers sterile products, hormones, narcotics, high-potency drugs, and cytotoxic substances in various dosage forms, including tablets, capsules, injectables, inhalants, liquids, ointments, and creams. The company is the world's largest generic drug maker and is represented in markets across the planet. Teva has also joined the cannabis race with a product designed to treat pain using cannabis administered through an inhaler.

22nd Century Group Inc. (NYSE: XXII) closed up over 10% on Tuesday at $2.74 with a trading volume north of 3.9 million shares traded by the market close. The company recently announced that the 2013 Research License and Commercial Option Agreement between the Company and British American Tobacco (Investments) Limited ("BAT") is now finished. BAT no longer has rights to any intellectual property or other assets of 22nd Century; 22nd Century is now again in sole control of the Company's highly disruptive intellectual property portfolio relating to the ability to grow patent-protected Very Low Nicotine tobacco plants. The Company is also in the cannabis industry is to develop proprietary hemp/cannabis strains for important new medicines and agricultural crops.

WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V: WMD.V) (OTC: WDDMF) closed Tuesday up over 6% with over 600,000 shares traded by market close on the TSX Venture. The company recently announced that it has signed agreements to supply medicinal cannabis products on an exclusive basis with three long-term care ("LTC") and retirement home providers. These include peopleCare Communities, Arbour Heights, and the Belmont Long Term Care Facility, which together total nine homes with more than 1,000 beds across Ontario. "As the first Canadian licensed producer to sign multiple supply contracts for senior resident care, we are beginning to validate our long-standing strategy.

GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH) closed down slightly on Tuesday at $108.09.   GW Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company, engages in discovering, developing, and commercializing cannabinoid prescription medicines using botanical extracts derived from the Cannabis plant. It operates through three segments: Commercial, Sativex Research and Development, and Pipeline Research and Development.

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