- Medical indications for marijuana multiply
- Medical marijuana (MMJ) market moves mainstream
- New cannabis business unit to focus on MMJ market
Now that some 44 nations around the globe have passed laws allowing marijuana for medical use, the market is set for rapid expansion in the coming years. Industry analysts Grand View Research estimate that the global medical marijuana market will reach a value of $55.8 billion by 2025, as the range of therapies for cannabis multiplies (http://cnw.fm/8dEr3). Much of this expected demand will be driven by treatments for chronic pain, but applications are also likely to be developed for a number of other ailments, such as anxiety, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that appear to benefit from cannabis prescription. As a result of these developments, PreveCeutical Medical Inc. (CSE: PREV) (OTCQB: PRVCF) (FSE: 18H) has launched a medicinal cannabis division that will also advance the company’s vision of becoming a global preventive health care company. The new business unit will offer medical cannabis in a variety of forms, including capsules, topical creams and transdermal patches, as well as through other delivery methods.
There is a growing body of evidence that certain disabilities and afflictions may benefit from cannabis medications. Conclusive studies have demonstrated that intractable seizures caused by Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes respond positively to CBD and that spasticity symptoms in MS and chemotherapy-induced nausea may be alleviated with oral cannabinoids. Moreover, the literature has identified a number of other indications for cannabis therapies. These include disruptions in short term sleep resulting from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, as well as symptoms of Tourette syndrome, social anxiety disorders, loss of appetite and weight associated with HIV/AIDS, and PTSD (http://cnw.fm/AgD0I).
The treatment of spasticity due to MS, with nabiximols, has been the great success story of medical cannabis. Formulated and marketed under the name of Sativex, it has been approved by regulatory authorities in 29 countries (http://cnw.fm/aI6ZL). Nabiximols consists of the two main cannabinoids – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) – and is administered with an oromucosal spray that delivers a dose of 2.7 mg THC and 2.5 mg CBD.
PreveCeutical’s establishment of a cannabis division comes on the heels of initiatives that it has already undertaken. In March 2018, the company began shipping dried cannabis flower to UniQuest Pty. Ltd., its research and development partner in Australia, which will analyze the cannabinoid ‘fingerprints’. Cannabis contain more than 100 cannabinoids, as well as other compounds like flavonoids and terpenoids, suggesting that its putative activity is most likely derived from a combination of components acting together. ‘Fingerprinting’ by chromatography, which examines the composition ratio of the cannabinoids, is thus considered a superior method of analysis.
After analysis, the cannabidiol features will be used as the first therapeutic compound developed for the company’s Sol-gel nose-to-brain drug delivery system. Formulation of an effective compound will follow initial testing and is expected to require an additional 18 months. The company has also begun a search for a compatible delivery device that patients will use to apply Sol-gel. So far, at least one manufacturer has signed a letter of non-disclosure to enable detailed discussions about its own device development capabilities and compatibility with Sol-gel.
The Sol-gel technology, a brainchild of Dr. Harendra Parekh, was developed at the University of Queensland, which has agreed to license it to PreveCeutical. However, while the technology belongs to the University, its application to infusion of cannabinoids will be covered by IP owned by PreveCeutical. Parekh is Chief Research Officer of PreveCeutical. He also heads the Drug/Gene Delivery Group at the Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE) at the University of Queensland.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.PreveCeutical.com
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