Cannabinoid Program Launches for Neurodegenerative Diseases
InMed will investigate compounds that are slightly different from those of cannabis plant
InMed Pharmaceuticals will launch a new program – the INM-900 series – that will investigate the therapeutic potential of its cannabinoid analogs in neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s, the company announced in a press release.
Cannabinoids, also called phytocannabinoids, are the active chemicals that give the cannabis plant its medical and recreational properties and are known to have neuroprotective effects.
They act on the endocannabinoid system, a complex modulatory network involved in brain development, memory, movement control, hormone production, and immune reactions, which has been shown to be altered in Parkinson’s patients.
InMed’s cannabinoid analogs are new compounds that have been tweaked slightly and carry a different molecular architecture than the original cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. While natural cannabinoids isolated from the plant are not patentable, the new analogs can be. Moreover, the cannabinoid analogs have been developed to address disease-specific features.
According to InMed’s press release, two cannabinoid analogs have shown promising results for neurodegenerative diseases, specifically, in promoting the growth of neurites, cell body extensions that nerve cells normally use to communicate with each other.
“Our early studies are showing promising neuroprotective effects as well as neurite outgrowth, signifying the potential to enhance neuronal function that may be important in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases,” said Eric Hsu, PhD, senior vice president of preclinical Research & Development at InMed.
The company will be conducting studies in in vivo models of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our early studies are showing promising neuroprotective effects as well as neurite outgrowth, signifying the potential to enhance neuronal function that may be important in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
“We are pleased that our efforts have led to the identification of two cannabinoid analog candidates to advance to in vivo studies,” Hsu said.
The first preclinical efficacy results are expected by June 2023. The research will be conducted in collaboration with Ujendra Kumar, PhD, professor of Pharmaceuticals Sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada.
The project, for which InMed serves as the named industry partner, was awarded an alliance grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and is titled, “Pharmacological characterization of phytocannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system.”
“Our team will continue this important research in neurodegenerative diseases under the NSERC Alliance grant,” Hsu said.