- Initiates Discovery and Preclinical Work with Novel Cannabinoid-based Therapy -
Vancouver, BC - June 3, 2015- InMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("InMed") (CSE: IN; OTCQB: IMLFF), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that specializes in developing safer, more effective cannabis-based therapies, announced it has initiated a program to identify and evaluate cannabinoid compounds for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Initial drug discovery and preclinical development is currently underway in collaboration with members of the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia.
Craig Schneider, President & Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We're excited to explore avenues to further expand InMed's pipeline with the addition of new program targeting COPD, the third leading cause of death in the United States. Similar to our ongoing program in orofacial pain, we are leveraging our proprietary intelligent drug design platform technology to identify promising therapeutic candidates. In addition to advancing our current product candidates, expansion into respiratory disease marks our fourth major disease focus, highlighting our commitment to building a leading pipeline of cannabinoid-based therapies."
Dr. Sazzad Hossain, Chief Scientific Officer, stated, "Current treatments for COPD are complex and ineffective and there is currently no cure available. It is well known that cannabinoids exhibit bronchodilatory, immunosuppressive, and anti-inflammatory properties and thus cannabinoid-based therapy may offer safer and more effective treatment options for COPD."
InMed researcher, Dr. Dmitri Pechkovsky, will conduct the initial discovery work in the laboratory of Dr. Pascal Bernatchez at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Pechkovsky has extensive research experience in pulmonary disorders, specifically, COPD, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and asthma. He earned his Ph.D. in Immunology and Allergy from Minsk State Medical Institute in Belarus and conducted post-doctoral training at the Research Center Borstel-Leibniz Center for Medicine and Biosciences (FZB), Luebeck University, and University of Freiburg in Germany.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic disease of the lower respiratory tract in the lungs that makes it progressively more difficult to breathe. Currently, over 50 million people globally have been diagnosed with COPD. However, studies estimate the actual prevalence of COPD is twice that amount. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
The disease typically develops as a result of inhalation of air pollutants including cigarette smoke, air pollution, chemical fumes, and dust. Those who suffer from COPD show symptoms including shortness of breath, increased production of mucus, coughing, and chest tightness, caused by the restricted airflow through airways in the lungs. Currently, there is no definitive cure for COPD, but a variety of treatments do exist.
About Cannabinoid-based Therapy for COPD
Recent studies have indicated that cannabinoid-based therapy may be effective in ameliorating major symptoms of COPD. THC, the major active ingredient in cannabis, has been shown to exhibit bronchodilation for up to two hours after administration. To counteract the heightened COPD-induced immune response in the lungs, THC mobilizes myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), a group of white blood cells, which inhibit T-cell proliferation and activation. Cannabinoids also exhibit anti-inflammatory effects through the inhibition of cyclooxygenases COX-1 and COX-2, enzymes that produce inflammatory compounds.
InMed Pharmaceuticals is a publicly-traded clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in developing therapies through research and development into the extensive pharmacology of cannabinoids coupled with innovative drug delivery systems. InMed's development pipeline includes product candidates for glaucoma, arthritis, and epidermoylsis bullosa (EBS), as well as active discovery programs in orofacial pain, ocular allergies, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). InMed's proprietary Intelligent Cannabinoid Drug Design Platform (IDP), therapeutic product pipeline, and accelerated development pathway are the fundamental value drivers of the Company.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
InMed Pharmaceuticals Inc.
President and Chief Executive Officer
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