Now that 28 states have passed comprehensive medical marijuana laws, conditions have never looked better for expanding research and development (R&D) into the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids, which is exactly what InMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CSE: IN) (OTCQB: IMLFF) is doing. Its efforts have already borne results: the company has two novel drug candidates in its pipeline. But there’s more to InMed than meets the eye; the Vancouver, Canada-based company has developed a proprietary process to manufacture cannabinoids based on biosynthesis. In addition, it has constructed an algorithm to identify the cannabinoids most likely to have beneficial therapeutic effect. With this triad of core assets, InMed looks poised to join the ranks of Big Pharma.
Of the 480 or so substances found in the cannabis sativa plant, about 60 are unique to the plant and are called cannabinoids. Perhaps the best known of these is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the ‘high’ derived from marijuana, but cannabinol (CBN) and cannabinodiol (CBDL) will also get you stoned. Most other cannabinoids are not psychoactive and cannabidiol (CBD), the one which occurs the most in the plant (about 40 percent of cannabis resin), actually mitigates the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD is also known to dispel anxiety, which, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (http://dtn.fm/LUjx9), is the most common mental illness in the U.S., afflicting 40 million Americans. Cannabinoid R&D has the potential not only to ease their suffering but the burden of those who suffer from a variety of other ailments.
At InMed, R&D has led to the development of a proprietary process to manufacture cannabinoids. Traditionally, cannabinoid compounds have been isolated by processing and purifying cannabis resin from actual plants. Alternatively, synthetic cannabinoids are created in the lab in a costly, time-consuming process that, in the end, may not produce a substance quite like nature’s. The InMed approach is to apply cannabinoid DNA to E-coli bacteria. The E-coli DNA is then removed leaving just the cannabinoid DNA, which can then replicate, in a process known as biosynthesis.
Although novel as a means of developing cannabinoids, biosynthesis is widely employed in the pharmaceutical industry. For example, the insulin used by millions of diabetics worldwide on a daily basis is manufactured through biosynthesis.
InMed has also created a bioinformatics program that assists in the identification of novel cannabinoids to treat diseases based on the current non-cannabinoid drugs being used. The program uses comprehensive algorithms to integrate data from numerous bioinformatics databases, including a database on the structure of currently approved pharmaceutical products, and an extensive database on over 90 individual cannabinoid drugs found in cannabis.
Using its own proprietary analytics program and manufacturing methodology, InMed has advanced two drug candidates along its pipeline. The first, INM-750, is for the treatment of a rare genetic connective tissue disorder, called epidermolysis bullosa (EB), that affects roughly one out of every 20,000 births in the United States. The condition, which currently has no approved treatment or cure, has been called “The Worst Disease You’ve Never Heard Of” by the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America. INM-750 works by replacing missing keratins in the skin with specially selected cannabinoids in an effort to modulate the painful manifestations of EB.
Also in pre-clinical trials is INM-085 for the treatment of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. The drug reduces the elevated intra-ocular pressure that is often associated with glaucoma. It is targeting a large market. The National Institutes of Health estimates that more than 3 million Americans currently have glaucoma, and that the disease has blinded more than 120,000.
InMed continues to expand its cannabinoid R&D. This has already produced huge success for GW Pharmaceuticals (market cap: $3 billion) after its Sativex, derived from cannabis, was approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.InMedPharma.com
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