Cannabinoids are a diverse set of chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors on cells that repress neurotransmitter release in the brain. While tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and cannabidiol (“CBD”) are the two most popular cannabinoids, there are at least 85 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis exhibiting various effects that could prove therapeutic.
GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid platform, has become the cannabinoid industry’s poster child with a ~$1.4 billion market capitalization and promising data from the clinic for the treatment of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
In this article, we’ll take a look at another opportunity in the sector that many are calling the “junior GW”, focused on leveraging its proprietary Cannabinoid Drug Design Platform to rapidly develop cannabinoid-based therapies.
Cannabinoids Show Big Potential
GW Pharmaceuticals’ stock has risen more than 125% so far this year amid an improving regulatory climate and favorable clinical trials. On June 17, 2014, the company announced favorable efficacy and safety data on 27 children and young adults with several different types of treatment-resistant epilepsy that were treated with its CBD-based Epidiolex® for a period of 12 weeks.
The results demonstrated a 44% mean overall reduction in seizure frequency compared to baseline, with 48% of patients obtaining at least a 50% reduction in seizure frequency compared to baseline. Despite these great results, the most dramatic results were the 15% of patients that became seizure-free and the 22% of patients that obtained at least a 90% reduction in frequency versus baseline.
Large pharmaceutical companies have also been increasingly entering the industry in anticipation of its tremendous growth. Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) is perhaps the best known of these companies, having experimented with the medicinal use of cannabis since the early 1900s. For example, the company’s researchers authored a paper on CB2 antagonists back in mid-2013.
Cannabinoids have the potential to treat a wide number of medical conditions, according to a recent study. Near-term indications could include symptomatic relief in multiple sclerosis, chronic neuropathic pain, intractable nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and weight in the context of cancer or AIDS, psychosis, epilepsy, addiction, and even metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes.
Fully Integrated Platform Play
Cannabis Technologies Inc. (OTC: CANLF) (CSE: CAN) is a biopharmaceutical drug discovery and development company focused on cannabinoids that has been dubbed by many as the “Junior GW” in the space. By leveraging its proprietary Cannabinoid Drug Design Platform, management aims to identify new bioactive compounds within the marijuana plant that interact with certain genes.
According to Chief Science Officer Sazzad Hossain, the platform provides the bioinformatics tools necessary to isolate and identify chemical compounds in medical marijuana in months instead of years. The company plans to use the platform to isolate compounds targeting a specific disease and then outsource the early-stage research and trials to get to Phase I quickly and inexpensively.
The company’s initial focus is on the $12 billion ocular diseases market, including the $5.7 billion glaucoma market, where its CTI-085 is preparing to undergo Phase I clinical trials shortly after having completing preclinical trials. In addition to these areas, management also expressed interest in larger market places like pain and inflammation, as well as orphan diseases, cancers, and metabolic diseases.
Similar to GW Pharmaceuticals, the company also operates a breeding and cultivation division that’s responsible for creating its medicines in-house. The proprietary phyto-stock produced by the division sets the firm apart from some of its competitors that rely on third-parties to manufacture their treatments, since the fully-integrated operations are often both lower cost and greater quality.
Experienced Management Team
Cannabis Technologies is led by a management team that’s experienced in both capital markets and biopharmaceuticals. On the corporate end, CEO Craig Schneider has 20 years of experience in the Canadian capital markets in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic business development.
Dr. Sazzad Hossain, Ph.D, M.Sc. leads the scientific team as Chief Science Officer with more than 20 years of academic and industrial experience in new drug discovery and natural health product development. He was a senior scientist at the National Research Council Canada and worked with several large pharmaceutical companies bringing products from development through commercialization.
Finally, Dr. Hyder Khoja, Ph.D, M.Sc., A.Ag, leads the company’s breeding and cultivation team with 17 years of extensive experience in a broad range of life sciences and business services with strong leadership combined with functional expertise and experience in general business management. His experience in agriculture could prove invaluable in building a strong cultivation program.
Cannabis Technologies sets itself apart from many other cannabis research organizations, such as Cannabis Science Inc. (OTC: CBIS), with its existing biopharmaceutical pipeline, unique drug discovery platform, and in-house breeding and cultivation division. These attributes put it on par with GW Pharmaceuticals in terms of its comprehensive capabilities.
Investors that wish to learn more about the company should see the following resources for more information:
Disclaimer: Except for the historical information presented herein, matters discussed in this article contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Emerging Growth LLC dba TDM Financial, which owns CannabisFN, is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority, and does not provide nor claims to provide investment advice or recommendations to readers of this release. Emerging Growth LLC dba TDM Financial, which owns CannabisFN, may from time to time have a position in the securities mentioned herein and may increase or decrease such positions without notice. For making specific investment decisions, readers should seek their own advice. Emerging Growth LLC dba TDM Financial, which owns CannabisFN, may be compensated for its services in the form of cash-based compensation or equity securities in the companies it writes about, or a combination of the two. For full disclosure please visit: http://www.cannabisfn.com/legal-disclaimer/.