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Ananda Scientific:“Our goal is to eradicate poverty by changing healthcare”

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A US company has developed a new method for delivering CBD, which it claims makes it up to 20 times more effective. And with ambitions to replace opioids with its cannabis-based treatments, the company is on a mission to create “medicines for the masses”.

US biotech pharma company, Ananda Scientific, claims that its products have some of the highest absorption rates on the market.

With a focus on developing new drug delivery systems, the firm partnered with Hebrew University in Israel to develop a unique technology to deliver CBD into the bloodstream.

Ananda has since designed treatments, that are currently undergoing clinical trials, to alleviate symptoms of specific physical and mental health conditions, including PTSD, anxiety and pain.

The technology is called Nano-Sized Self-Assembled Liquid Structure, a type of droplet designed to enhance bioavailability. Ananda claims that its Liquid Structure CBD is 20 times more bioavailable than standard CBD within the first 30 minutes of administration.

Chief business development officer at Ananda, Mark Coffie, told Cannabis Health: “We own a lot of the cannabinoid intellectual property state out of Hebrew University.

“The company has taken the formulation, the technology, the pedigree of the scientists, the intellectual property and has developed a phenomenal pharmaceutical side to the business.”

Although the vessel is just 15 nanometers in size, Liquid Structure is not classed as nanotechnology, which, according to Coffie, makes the formulation unique.

He explained: “We’re underneath the nanodomain, but what makes us unique is that we are not nanotechnology because we do not manipulate the molecules.

“Other nanotechnologies manipulate, they add hard metals, and particulates – there are particles in nanotechnology, but we have no particulates in our technology, we do not manipulate the CBD at all. That’s what makes us unique.”

Coffie continued: “The bioavailability is the aftermath of the technology, the structure itself. We have a claim on that we’re able to put on the bottle that says we are 20 times more bioavailable than CBD, within the first 30 minutes. Over the time there’s a curve that goes up and back down, but at that peak we like to say it’s 20 times more effective.

“At the end of the day, most people are taking this product to relieve pain, they don’t want to sit around and wait for their medicine to kick in.”

The company also has a nutraceutical arm, which uses the same technologies to produce a product that can be sold over the counter as a food supplement.

“We’ve taken the underlying technology and the intellectual property state, and we’ve passed that down to a nutraceutical side of the business,” Coffie explained.

“We have a pharmaceutical formulation and we have a nutraceutical formulation. Both have the same underlying technologies; both have the same scientists that work on formulations and both have the same intellectual property state behind them. Just the formulation is different from pharma to nutraceutical.”

Rather than sell products under its own name, Ananda partners with consumer CBD brands to get its products on the shelves.

“We look to find brands that can take our assets, data, technology, the technical support, the efficacious applications of ingredient and help develop a product and let them do what they do well, like build a marketing engine and sales engine, because we don’t have that,” Coffie added.

On the pharmaceutical side of the business, Ananda has several clinical trials underway, including two FDA trials and a phase one human clinical trial at the Hadassah Hospital in Israel.

The latter aims to assess the bioavailability and safety of its Liquid Structure CBD formulation. Following the trial’s completion, Ananda intends to move into further human clinical studies to evaluate the efficacy of the technology for treating pain.

This will tie into one of the company’s main missions; to develop a replacement for opioid medications, a leading cause of overdose deaths in North America.

“If we could show that we can provide a cost-effective, non-addictive opioid replacement, I feel like we could save a lot of people’s lives,” Coffie said.

The company recently received approval from the FDA for a second clinical trial evaluating the effect of a unique CBD technology on reducing opioid consumption in chronic pain patients.

Another of the firm’s key focuses is diabetes, a disease that affects 422 million people worldwide according to the World Health Organisation.

Ananda has a number of diabetes trials in progress in the US to test the efficacy of its patented treatment for diabetes. The company hopes that, if approved, the medication will eradicate the negative long term side effects of current diabetes treatment and lower the associated costs.

“The numbers are staggering,” Coffie said.

“Around 40 percent of the world population is pre-diabetic. It could be a rampant disease that could really have a negative impact on humanity worldwide.

“And diabetes treatment is very expensive. Our goal with Ananda is to eradicate poverty by changing healthcare and utilising plant-derived compounds to create real medicines for the masses.”

Leading Ananda is CEO Dr Mark Rosenfeld, former UN adviser to China and pandemic scientist who was responsible for three of four bird flu vaccines. He is also known for discovering the aphrodisiac that enabled the breeding of great pandas in captivity in China.

Working alongside him is the firm’s chief technology officer, Dr Nissim Garti from the Hebrew University in Israel, who sits on the Nobel Peace Prize committee for science.

With an impressive team behind it, the company has ambitious plans, having launched over-the-counter products in the US and the UK through brands such as Brain Body Balance, and plans to expand into the EU, China, Australia and Africa in the near future.

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Six big cannabis sector stories you might have missed this week

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It’s been another week of big news in the cannabis world.

At Cannabis Health, our in depth coverage of the ongoing growth of cannabis as a medical and wellness product continues

Meanwhile, over at Cannabis Wealth, we’ve been following all the big industry and policy news in a week which has seen some important developments..

Been busy and want to get caught up in a hurry?

Here are the six things you need to read to stay in the loop this week.

1. Reprieve for medical cannabis patients

The Department of Health has reached an agreement with Dutch officials to extend the supply of medical cannabis oils to existing patients in the UK until 2022.

Medical cannabis patients, living with severe, life-threatening epilepsy were left without access to medication when the UK left the EU at the end of last year.

Medical cannabis

Families, whose children are prescribed Bedrocan oils in the UK but must obtain their prescription through the Transvaal pharmacy in the Netherlands, were given two weeks notice that their medication could no longer be dispensed following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31, December 2020.

Read the full story.

2. UK largest’s medical cannabis trial reports back

The first findings from the UK’s largest medical cannabis patient study show quality of life improved by more than 50 percent.

Preliminary results from Drug Science’s Project Twenty21 study, have found medical cannabis significantly improves quality of life for people with life-limiting conditions such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis (MS) Tourette’s syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Published on Tuesday 11 May, the report is the first real-world data to be collected on medical cannabis in the UK.

Read more here.

3. Harrowing first-hand account of medical cannabis user
Diagnosed with a personality disorder and experiencing debilitating anxiety which left him housebound, Craig – whose name has been changed – had exhausted all treatment options and was losing all hope.
He speaks about how medical cannabis helped save his life here.

4. CBD market set to shrink

The UK’s CBD sector looks set to shrink significantly as the roll out of new regulations continues to batter the industry.

The FSA has confirmed to Cannabis Wealth it received applications for 803 different CBD products – but only 42 have been advanced to the next stage of the process so far.

More than half of all applications (445) were ‘incomplete’ and a further 41 have been withdrawn altogether.

Read the full story here.

5. CBD not linked to single doping case

CBD has not been linked to a single failed drugs test in UK sport despite fears about the undeclared levels of THC in some products.

The World Anti-Doping Agency removed the cannabinoid from its banned substances list in 2017 and since then several high profile athletes have publicly endorsed CBD products.

Even though CBD – which has no psychoactive properties – is not banned, the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) still warns athletes to be cautious with treatments.

Read our exclusive report here.

6. School’s out for cannabis class

The first class on a pioneering university medical cannabis course have concluded their first year of studies.

The research programme at the Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin examines the medical and nutritional uses of cannabis, production and the legal and economic frameworks of the business.

It’s the latest sign that medical cannabis is becoming a part of the mainstream education offering and a positive indication that new industry leaders will emerge in the coming years.

Full story here.

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Science finds a way for medical cannabis to relieve pain without side effects

Researchers have developed a molecule that allows THC to fight pain without the side effects.

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Medical cannabis
Many people living with chronic pain have found that cannabis can provide relief. 

Scientists may have developed a molecule which could allow medical cannabis to provide pain relief without any side effects.

Many people live with chronic pain, and in some cases, cannabis can provide relief. 

But the drug also can significantly impact memory and other cognitive functions. 

Now, researchers have developed a peptide that, in mice, allowed THC to fight pain without the side effects.

According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around 20 percent of adults in the states experienced chronic pain in 2019. 

In some studies, medical cannabis has been helpful in relieving pain from migraines, neuropathy, cancer and other conditions, but the side effects can present hurdles for widespread therapeutic use.

Previously, researchers identified two peptides [molecules which are made up of amino acids] that disrupt an interaction between a receptor that is the target of THC and another that binds serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates learning, memory and other cognitive functions. 

When the researchers injected the peptides into the brains of mice, the mice had fewer memory problems caused by THC. 

Now, this team, led by Rafael Maldonado, David Andreu and colleagues, has gone one step further to improve these peptides to make them smaller, more stable, orally active and able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Based on data from molecular dynamic simulations, the researchers designed two peptides that were less than half the length of the original ones but preserved their receptor binding and other functions. 

They also optimised the peptide sequences for improved cell entry, stability and ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. 

Then, the researchers gave the most promising peptide to mice orally, along with a THC injection, and tested the mice’s pain threshold and memory. 

Mice treated with both THC and the optimised peptide reaped the pain-relieving benefits of THC and also showed improved memory compared with mice treated with THC alone. 

Importantly, multiple treatments with the peptide did not evoke an immune response. 

Reporting in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, researchers say that these findings suggest the optimised peptide is an ideal drug candidate for reducing cognitive side effects from cannabis-based pain management.

The abstract that accompanies this paper can be viewed here.

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Dutch Government to supply medical cannabis for UK patients until 2022

The Department of Health has reached an agreement to continue the supply of Bedrocan oils

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The Dutch Government will supply medical cannabis to UK patients until 2022

The Department of Health has reached an agreement with Dutch officials to extend the supply of medical cannabis oils to existing patients in the UK until 2022.

Medical cannabis patients, living with severe, life-threatening epilepsy were left without access to medication when the UK left the EU at the end of last year. 

Families, whose children are prescribed Bedrocan oils in the UK but must obtain their prescription through the Transvaal pharmacy in the Netherlands, were given two weeks notice that their medication could no longer be dispensed following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31, December 2020. 

After outrage from campaigners, the Dutch government agreed to continue supplying the life-saving products until 1 July, 2021 while a more permanent solution was reached.

This waiver period has now been extended until 1 January, 2022.

Health ministers promised to work with officials in the Netherlands to find a “long-term” solution, but according to those at the forefront of the campaign, there is still “some way to go”.

Hannah Deacon and son Alfie Dingley

Hannah Deacon’s son Alfie Dingley, who is prescribed Bedrocan products for a rare form of epilepsy, recently celebrated one year seizure-free.

In a letter to Deacon on Thursday 13 May, the DofH said it was working with the Dutch government, Bedrocan and the Transvaal pharmacy to proceed as “quickly as possible” with the UK production of these medicines.

It added that domestic production is “complex” and that manufacturing “unlicensed herbal medicines” comes with “significant challenges”. 

Deacon said that the UK production of Bedrocan products was the “only solution”.

While other cannabis-based medicines are available in the UK, experts have warned that there is ‘significant variation’ from one product to the next and switching an epilepsy patient’s treatment could be ‘life-threatening’.

“With the 1 July deadline for Bedrolite supply to cease from the Netherlands looming ever closer, we made it clear we wanted an extension to the agreement to stop the situation becoming dangerous for Alfie and the other patients receiving this vital medicine,” commented Deacon.

“The long term solution of Bedrocan products being made in the UK still has some way to go, but it can be the only solution and we thank everyone who is working very hard to achieve this. 

“This is still a long way off from being okay, but for now we have the pressure taken off on the supply issue.”

With limited access to medical cannabis on the NHS, families are still calling for the Government to help fund their children’s prescriptions, which can cost thousands of pounds each month.

Deacon added: “The ever-pressing issue of financial burden on the many families and patients wishing to use medical cannabis in the UK remains and this is a huge issue which needs dealing with.

“There are many ways in which the Government could step in and help access for very vulnerable people and we will continue working as hard as we can to make things better for all.”

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