Growblox Sciences has filed the first of several likely patent applications for cannabis-based compounds developed by Growblox Life Sciences, its wholly owned subsidiary. The application applies to pharmaceutical-grade mixtures that might be used to treat patients with neurodegeneration, especially those with Parkinson’s disease.
Growblox Life Sciences is focused on researching and developing cannabis-based medicines. The company uses various technical approaches in plant biology, cultivation, and extraction methods combined with biotechnology.
“Unlike many other companies and researchers who try to reduce the natural complexity in the cannabis plant, we embrace it and it informs our therapeutic mixtures,” Dr. Andrea Small-Howard, chief science officer of Growblox Sciences, said in a press release.
The application covers, specifically, mixtures of cannabis-based compounds that enhance the secretion of the neurotransmitter dopamine, and protect neurons from the mitochondrial-induced free radical damage. Dopamine and neuronal damage are hallmarks in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, and Lewy body dementia.
“[W]e test our mixtures in disease systems that include a natural diversity of human cannabis-receptors, not just CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are the only receptors studied by many leading cannabinoid researchers,” Small-Howard said, adding that the mixtures contain “dozens of individually acting agents in order to make effective therapies for different diseases.”
Parkinson’s is an initial treatment focus for the company’s products, because “these patients are in great need of an effective therapeutic treatment,” she added. The proposed Parkinson’s treatment is also attractive because it does not contain relevant amounts of the psychoactive compound in marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
The prevalence and incidence of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s rise with age, and the number of cases is expected to continue to grow globally in coming decades.
“Our goal is to help the approximately one million patients in the US and ten million world-wide that are living with Parkinson’s disease through our life science research, and we anticipate being able to use the same research processes to create additional innovative therapeutic options for other underserved patient groups in the coming months, ” said John Poss, Growblox Sciences’ CEO.