New CBD Trials Point the Way for Enveric, MagicMed
July 30th, 2021
Psychedelics, Top Story
As the cannabis industry strives to gain widespread acceptance in the mainstream, scientific studies into the potential benefits of the plant and its active ingredients play a key role in reaching that goal. There are currently very few approved pharmaceutical drug applications for cannabinoids, but that could change. After decades of effective prohibition there is a growing body of research surrounding cannabinoids, and more drug approvals are likely to follow.
All of the above applies equally to the promising area of psychedelic research, though the psychedelic industry is at an even earlier stage than the cannabis industry. Studies point to potential benefits for patients suffering from conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, addiction, and depression to name a few. More research is needed and getting psychedelics into clinical trials is really the next step.
Two companies on the verge of a merger are looking to push clinical research forward in both areas. Enveric Biosciences (NASDAQ: ENVB) is a pioneer in cannabinoid research that recently announced a Phase 1/2 trial focused on CBD as a complementary treatment for recurrent cases of the devastating brain cancer glioblastoma (GBM). Enveric also recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire and combine with MagicMed Industries, a leader in the research and development of novel derivative psychedelic molecules designed for clinical use. The combination of the two companies has the potential to greatly advance pharmaceutical development in both sectors.
Enveric’s clinical trial has been approved by the Israeli Ministry of Health and will be conducted at the Davidoff Institute of Oncology, Rabin Medical Center, in Israel under Principal Investigator Dr. Tali Siegal. Israel has long been a global leader in cannabis research with the backing of the federal government, and the country continues to push the boundaries of our knowledge of the plant and its benefits.
GBM is the most common and lethal form of cancer affecting the central nervous system. Five year survival rates for patients with the disease are very poor, with about 5% surviving through that time and the average length of survival less than two years. Despite much research over the last few decades, these rates remain largely unchanged.
Enveric is studying the combination of its lead synthetic CBD candidate, EV101, with two currently accepted forms of treatment for GBM. Preclinical data supports the idea of the combined treatments, which suggest that CBD may improve the efficacy of chemo- or immuno-therapies while potentially allowing for lower doses of chemotherapeutic agents.
Glioblastoma tumors express CB2 receptors, which are the channels through which CBD and other cannabinoids are thought to exert their anti-cancer effects. Research indicates CBD may induce apoptosis, or cell death, in cancer cells. The results of Enveric’s Phase 1/2 trial could greatly further the understanding of these mechanisms and ideally improve outcomes for GBM patients.
The Combined Company
MagicMed has established a growing library, called the Psybrary™, of novel compounds based on or derived from psychedelic molecules such as psilocybin and DMT. The company’s approach is to create patentable drug candidates that enhance the therapeutic effects of the naturally occurring molecules. MagicMed’s expertise lies in research and development, and its business model is to sell or license these drug candidates to pharmaceutical companies, like Enveric, with the capabilities to conduct clinical trials.
With the pending acquisition, the combined companies would be able to keep the whole process, from drug discovery and molecule development through clinical trials and drug approval, under one roof. The hope is to advance psychedelic therapies and research into the mainstream and, of course, gain approvals for drug treatments of major indications like anxiety, PTSD, and depression. The fact that Enveric is listed on the NASDAQ and has clinical trial experience should only work to the benefit of achieving those goals, both in terms of access to capital for development and more generally the acceptance of psychedelic research in the investment community.
Once the deal is finalized, some members of the MagicMed executive team will assume their existing roles in the new version of Enveric Biosciences. CEO Dr. Joseph Tucker will become CEO of Enveric, with current Enveric CEO David Johnson becoming the Executive Chairman. Meanwhile, MagicMed CSO Dr. Peter Facchini and CTO Dr. Jillian Hagel will be named to the same positions in the new company.
Investors interested in early mover companies in emerging health care sectors may want to track Enveric Biosciences’ development. Upcoming inflection points include the GBM trial, the finalization of the merger between MagicMed and Enveric, and the further development of potential psychedelic therapies. The combined capabilities of the two companies could serve to greatly enhance our understanding of both cannabis and psychedelic science after decades of neglect. Stay tuned.
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