Cannabics CEO talks product pipeline, challenges, opportunities and more
In this edition of “Rising High,” The Fly conducted an exclusive interview with Eyal Barad, chief executive officer at Cannabics Pharmaceuticals (CNBX), a company focused on the development of cancer-related cannabinoid-based medicines. Here are some highlights:
ANTI-TUMOR CANNABINOID MEDICINES: Cannabics, a U.S. public company with research and development based in Israel, has been conducting research on the anti-tumor effects of cannabinoid formulations on cancer since its founding in 2012. The company’s product pipeline includes the EVALUATE CANNABICS CDx drug sensitivity test, the ALLEVIATE CANNABICS SR drug candidate and the ERADICATE CANNABICS RCC-33 drug candidate. “Historically the first thing we did was back a few a years ago,” the CEO said. “We had a product called our CANNABICS SR, a slow release capsule which was formulated and then clinically tested.” He said the company conducted a clinical trial of the drug in Israel for cancer-related cachexia-anorexia syndrome for patients that were losing weight and their appetite. “We actually took that into the hospital and had a clinical study,” Barad said. “We were able to help patients increase weight and improve their appetite, so that was the beginning.” He said the company is currently questioning whether to take the product into further clinical studies. “The only issue there is that the product contains THC,” the CEO said. “Our other anti-tumor drug candidates do not have THC, so it’s making it easier on the regulatory path for us to focus on those.” Cannabics plans to pursue the candidate further once there is additional regulatory clarity in the U.S., he said.
Following CANNABICS SR, the company developed its CANNABICS CDx diagnostic test, Barad said, made for matching specific medical-cannabis products to specific patients. “That’s around personalization of various cannabinoids and specific cancers,” he said. “The idea there was to be able to take biopsies from patients and test the various cannabinoid products available in their market. Then we’re able to give patients a graph which actually shows them which products were most effective or less effective for the treatment.” Through that, Cannabics developed out its state-of-the-art in-house laboratory, the CEO said, which is a drug discovery and high throughput screening facility. “We’re able to test thousands of different combinations of various cannabinoids on various cancer cell lines and biopsies,” he said. Barad also noted that the diagnostics product is currently patent pending in the U.S. and has been granted a patent in Europe. Cannabics has also received notification from the Mexican Patent and Trademark Office that it has granted a notice of allowance. “We’re waiting for a couple things with the U.S.,” he said. “Once that will come through, we’ll be looking for a strategic partner to collaborate on that for Europe and the U.S.”
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