InMed Pharma Advances Cannabinoid EB Therapy
July 13th, 2017
Feature Stories, News
The cannabis industry may be on track to exceed $50 billion over the next decade, but researchers are only beginning to discover the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids. While large pharmaceutical companies are hesitant to get involved in the space, investors have several options when it comes to smaller firms conducting pre-clinical and clinical trials. These companies could offer substantial value over the coming years as the trials progress.
In this article, we will look at InMed Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (CSE: IN) (OTCQB: IMLFF) new research and development deal with ATERA SAS of France and why INM-750 could turn into a significant opportunity over the coming years.
Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a group of rare diseases that causes the skin to blister or tear in response to minor injury, heat, friction, scratching, or adhesive tape. In the worst cases, these blisters may occur inside the body in the mouth or intestines. The inherited condition is caused by a defect in the anchoring between the epidermis and dermis, which results in friction and skin fragility that can cause blisters and painful sores.
There is no cure for the disease and treatment options are aimed at alleviating symptoms, such as infection and itching, as well as preventing pain and re-healing wounds. Recently, Amicus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FOLD) acquired Scioderm’s SD-101, after completion of a Phase IIB study in 48 patients for the treatment of skin blistering and lesions, in a deal that could be worth more than $847 million. SD-101 is now in its Phase III trials.
InMed Pharma’s INM-750 product program represents a compelling alternative to SD-101 for several reasons. First, the cannabinoid compound addresses five core treatment targets – inflammation, wound healing, skin regeneration, itching, and pain – rather than just blistering and lesions. Second, there are early indications that INM-750 could potentially help reverse the painful condition by addressing the underlying cause rather than just treating the symptoms.
Cannabinoid compounds have well-documented anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and wound healing promoting properties via several mechanisms of action. InMed Pharma’s proprietary Bioinformatics Database Assessment Tool predicted cannabinoid combinations that address the hallmark EB properties, as well as cannabinoids that regulate the expression of various keratins that might compensate for the dysfunctional proteins that cause EB.
Progressing the Study
InMed Pharma’s new research and development agreement with ATERA SAS will support the development of its INM-750 for Epidermolysis Bullosa (“EB”). The proprietary topical cannabinoid product helps modulate keratin levels in patients with EB while simultaneously addressing inflammation, wound healing, skin regeneration, itching, and pain. Management aims to begin Phase I clinical trials next year after completing additional pre-clinical work.
ATERA specializes in the development, validation, manufacturing, and commercialization of advanced tissue models as reliable, cost-effective, high-quality, and more conscientious alternatives for animal studies. Under the agreement, ATERA will develop 3D human skin models of EB to evaluate the efficiency of INM-750 as well as investigate the beneficial effects of topically applied INM-750 at ultra-structural cellular and molecular levels.
“INM-750 has demonstrated significant potential in pre-clinical models to address symptomatic improvement of EB including accelerated wound healing and a reduction in pain, itch, and inflammation,” said InMed Pharma CSO Dr. Sazzad Hossain. “This project with ATERA is designed to assess the potential of INM-750 to have an impact in disease reversal, further supporting our current data indicating up-regulation in specific keratins in the skin.”
The company has also conducted several in vitro and in vivo assays showing early positive results of INM-750 in treating EB conditions, but the deal with ATERA will provide a much more accurate indication of whether the therapy will be successful in meeting both symptomatic improvement as well as disease reversal outcomes. If so, the company could be sitting on a valuable drug following the $850+ million acquisition of SD-101 that addresses fewer underlying symptoms and provides no potential curative activity.
InMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CSE: IN) (OTCQB: IMLFF) represents a unique opportunity within the burgeoning medical cannabis industry. With the new partnership in place, the company is diligently working toward Phase I clinical trials of INM-750 next year. Investors may want to keep an eye on the company as it continues to progress towards Phase I clinical trials, particularly after its favorable pre-clinical developments.
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