Vancouver-based Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc., has partnered with Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre on a research program aimed at establishing pre-clinical safety and efficacy of select cannabinoid-based therapeutics.
The planned research by Aequus and the Centre For Drug Research and Development (CDRD)will focus on cannabinoid-based medicines that target neurological movement disorders including epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
“There is a clear unmet medical need in the area of medical cannabinoid research and development where CDRD and Aequus can collaborate and share their respective expertise that could lead to new cannabinoid therapeutics and a pathway to clinical trials, particularly in neurological movement disorders,” said Gordon McCauley, president and CEO of CDRD.
In 2016, Health Canada provided patients in Canada the ability to access cannabis for medical purposes when recommended by their physician. “There are insufficient data, however, for proper therapeutic treatment protocols regarding the proper dosage and frequency for patients dealing with a wide variety of symptoms and disease areas,” a press release from the Vancouver-based specialty pharmaceutical firm.
According to Aequus, a recent survey it published confirms the medical need for improved clinical trial data supporting safety and efficacy of medical cannabis, the reliability of dose delivery systems, high-quality data collection tracking real-world clinical outcomes, physician education, and quality controlled ingredients.
“This is an exciting step as we advance toward our goal of providing patients and physicians with clinically validated cannabinoid-containing treatments delivered in a more precise and optimized manner than inhaling or ingesting, the most common current methods of delivery,” Doug Jenzen, chairman and chief executive officer of Aequus, said of the collaboration with the CDRD. “. Together our two organizations have proven expertise in taking drugs from discovery and preclinical trials all the way through clinical trials to regulatory launch and commercial sales – a potent combination for advancing cannabinoid-containing therapeutics for Neurologic Movement Disorders.”
Aequus will work with sophisticated third party partners like the CDRD to develop pharmaceutical grade products for patients seeking the use of optimized delivery versions of clinically validated formulations of medical cannabis.
The research program’s preclinical studies, including invitro and invivo toxicology, pharmacology, and formulation optimization in relevant disease models, will be conducted at CDRD’s facilities in Vancouver pending Health Canada approvals.
The project will make use of CDRD’s expertise in the pre-clinical development and target validation for new products. Products advanced through the collaboration will be commercialized by Aequus.