NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: The discovery of the human body’s endocannabinoid system in the early 1990s led to a surge of new drug development activity to address multiple maladies and identify new ways to treat serious diseases. The pharma industry’s predominant focus has been on the most recognized and easiest-to-isolate plant-sourced cannabinoids THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Despite their potential therapeutic efficacy, plant-sourced cannabinoid therapies have complex development limitations that impede effective use. Beyond economic constraints on production, inherent problems exist in ensuring the quality, purity and consistency requisite for serious pharmaceutical drug development. But InMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CSE: IN) (OTCQB: IMLFF) (IMLFF Profile) has initiated a scientific paradigm shift in discovering potential breakthrough cannabinoid-based therapies that advances far beyond basic cannabinoid production and the over-the-counter sales of oils and elixirs. The company’s proprietary biosynthesis process sets it apart from the operations of companies like Isodiol International, Inc. (OTCQB: ISOLF) (ISOL: CNX), as well as from other biotechs and growers in the cannabis industry who rely on the supply of leading cultivators like Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX: WEED) (OTC: TWMJF), Aurora Cannabis, Inc. (TSX: ACB) (OTCQB: ACBFF) and Aphria, Inc. (TSX: APH) (OTC: APHQF).
The human endocannabinoid system is one of the most important physiologic systems involved in general well-being. The human body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which bind to cannabinoid receptors present in the body where they act as chemical messengers between cells, tissues and organs. This innate biological system has been found to interact with the 90+ cannabinoids identified in the cannabis plant, leading to a wide range of pharmacological effects related to pain, inflammation, neurotransmission, stress, metabolism, appetite and several other body functions.
InMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CSE: IN) (OTCQB: IMLFF) has a robust, proprietary biosynthesis process to manufacture pharmaceutical-grade (greater than 95% purity) cannabinoids using a cost-effective, laboratory-based process.
Biosynthesis is the preparation of biological molecules using catalysts derived from natural substances, which are then converted into other compounds. As an example, millions of diabetics use insulin produced via biosynthesis. InMed’s proprietary biosynthetic process produces cannabinoids that are identical to naturally occurring compounds and is transformative in ensuring the pharmaceutical standards for therapeutic cannabinoids. This novel breakthrough gives InMed the ability to bio-identically manufacture every cannabinoid compound found in nature and the ability to consistently, reliably and accurately test the compounds’ therapeutic efficacy and safety.
InMed employs a proprietary bioinformatics drug and disease-targeting tool in conjunction with its biosynthesis process. Bioinformatics is a high-efficiency, computer-assisted approach to predicting the therapeutic potential and medicinal properties of individual cannabinoids against particular medical conditions. InMed’s approach applies comprehensive algorithms to combine data from various bioinformatics databases with its proprietary cannabinoid database.
These systems give the company significant competitive advantage. To protect this invaluable asset, InMed has filed a provisional patent for the biosynthesis of cannabinoids (http://nnw.fm/RPTj0), using the process as a base to expand its pipeline of drug candidates. InMed’s current pipeline includes INM-750 to treat epidermolysis bullosa, a rare disease characterized by extremely fragile skin, with potential global market revenues estimated around US$1 billion per year; INM-085, in development to treat glaucoma, with global market potential of more than US$5 billion; and INM-405, which targets the US$36 billion-plus global market for pain therapy.
Study results published earlier this year by InMed in the European Journal of Pain (http://nnw.fm/8RbQF) highlighted the topical application of certain cannabinoids to successfully treat peripheral pain. Study results (http://nnw.fm/4nCmZ) suggest InMed’s approach may prove valuable in the treatment of severe craniofacial muscle pain disorders and there’s reason to believe similar benefits for treating osteoarthritis may been seen.
In the latest market report published by Credence Research, Inc. (http://nnw.fm/pDKs0), the osteoarthritis treatment market was valued at US$5 billion in 2015. Despite medical advances, there remain significant unmet medical needs in treating osteoarthritis due to the absence of effective therapies for the chronic disease. Currently available treatment options don’t provide adequate pain relief, especially in the late stages of osteoarthritis, which has led to increased opioid abuse. As such, there is a real need to find non-addictive alternatives with limited side effects to treat chronic and severe pain, and InMed’s comprehensive pharmaceutical approach to cannabinoid drug development may prove to be the solution.
Many other companies are pursuing medicinal cannabinoids, mostly CBD, through horticultural cultivation. The process of planting, growing, harvesting, extracting and purifying the product is costly, inexact, inconsistent and unreliable. A recent study published in JAMA (http://nnw.fm/f9FAa) revealed that nearly 70% of CBD extracts from marijuana sold online are mislabeled, some had extra CBD, some less, and some contained hidden cannabinoids. Blind testing found that only about 31 percent of the extracts tested contained the amount of CBD listed on the label (within a 10% allowed variance).
InMed’s ability to consistently manufacture pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids may prove to be a significant advantage over traditional cannabis growers.
Companies developing medicinal cannabinoids through traditional horticultural methods include Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED) (OTC: TWMJF), a diversified Canadian cannabis company offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and capsule forms. Through its 665,000 square feet of licensed production, over 500,000 square feet of which is good manufacturing practice (GMP) certified. Canopy Growth and its affiliates plan to develop a production platform that would represent 3.2 million square feet of indoor and greenhouse production capacity, all operated with leading edge production, quality assurance procedures, value-added post processing, research and testing. Canopy Growth has established partnerships with recognized sector names in Canada and abroad, with interests and operations spanning seven countries and four continents. The company is dedicated to educating healthcare practitioners, providing consistent access to high-quality cannabis products, conducting robust clinical research, and furthering the public's understanding of cannabis.
Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc., Aurora Cannabis (TSX: ACB) (OTCQB: ACBFF) is a Canadian licensed producer of horticulturally grown medical cannabis. The company operates a 55,200-square-foot production facility in Alberta and a second 40,000-square-foot production facility in Quebec. The company is constructing an 800,000-square-foot production facility at the Edmonton International Airport, as well as a fourth facility in Lachute, Quebec, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Aurora Larssen Projects Ltd. Aurora holds about 19 percent of the issued shares in an extraction technology company, Radient Technologies Inc., and is in the process of completing an investment for up to 50.1 percent of Hempco Food and Fiber. Aurora also holds a 22.9 percent stake in Cann Group Limited, the first Australian company licensed to cultivate and research medical cannabis. Aurora owns Pedanios, a wholesale importer, exporter and distributor of medical cannabis in the EU.
One of Canada’s lowest-cost horticultural producers, Aphria (TSX: APH) (OTC: APHQF), cultivates, supplies and sells medical cannabis. Located in Leamington, Ontario, Aphria is powered by sunlight, allowing for some of the most natural growing conditions available. Aphria is committed to providing pharma-grade medical cannabis for superior patient care while balancing patient economics and returns to shareholders. Aphria’s medicinal cannabis is 100 percent greenhouse grown in natural sunlight and offers a patient care team to assist customers purchasing its THC and CBD products.
Isodiol International (CSE: ISOL) (OTC: ISOLF) (FSE: LB6A.F) is a market leader in pharmaceutical- and nutraceutical-grade phytochemical (plant-based) compounds, specializing in the manufacturing and development of phytoceutical consumer products. Isodiol is one of the world’s largest sources for phytocannabinoids and offers high-quality, bioactive products from seed to finished product. Isodiol is a pioneer in the cannabis industry for the commercialization of 99 percent-plus pure, bioactive pharmaceutical grade cannabinoids, micro-encapsulations and nanotechnology for high-quality consumable and topical skin care products. Isodiol’s growth strategy includes the development of over-the-counter and pharmaceutical drugs, expanding its phytoceutical portfolio and aggressively continuing its international expansion into Latin America, Asia, and Europe.
The discovery of the human endocannabinoid system and its interaction with cannabinoids to produce pharmacological modulation for pain, inflammation and other ailments may provide the long sought-after solutions to effectively treat pain inherent with osteoarthritis and other chronic and severe illnesses. There’s immense promise that pharmacological cannabinoids may soon provide relief for suffering patients and there’s an economic bonanza waiting for companies like InMed that aim to bring these blockbuster cannabis-based drugs to market.
For more information on InMed Pharmaceuticals, please visit: InMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CSE: IN) (OTCQB: IMLFF)
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