New research suggests that certain combinations of cannabinoids could provide therapeutic benefits in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
A new study, published in partnership with drug development company GB Sciences, aimed to demonstrate the efficacy of cannabinoid-containing formulations – known as minimum essential mixtures (MEM) – for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
The company said in a press release that its patented ‘cannabis-inspired compounds’ were effective in reducing motor symptoms related to Parkinson’s in an animal model of the disease.
Research in cell models of Parkinson’s disease was performed at Chaminade University in the US, while refinement and validation aspects were carried out in a zebrafish model of Parkinson’s disease at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).
The process used for the study preserves some of the entourage-like effects of whole plant extracts while achieving ‘relative’ simplicity within MEM that is a requirement for obtaining the manufacturing and quality control advantages of single-ingredient drugs.
It identifies promising minimal essential mixtures of cannabinoids based on a step-wise, strategic approach to reducing the complexity of the plant secondary metabolome.
There is a need for more effective treatments to manage Parkinson’s disease, which affects over 8.5 million people worldwide and has doubled in prevalence over the past 25 years, according to the World Health Organisation.
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative condition which causes a range of physical and psychological symptoms, the main ones being involuntary shaking, slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles.
Dr Andrea Small Howard, president, chief science officer, and director of Gb Sciences, said the company hopes to address some of the ‘unmet clinical need’ for treatment.
“Our drug discovery process has identified promising ratio-controlled mixtures of cannabis-inspired compounds for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, which have proven effective at reducing Parkinsonian motor symptoms in an animal model of the disease,” she commented.
“This study allows us to continue addressing unmet clinical needs through the development of novel plant-inspired drugs, and positions Gb Sciences as a contributor to the expanding world of novel PD therapeutics.”
Following in silico, in vitro, and medium throughput in vivo studies, the mixtures can now be tested in higher-cost, preclinical model systems of Parkinson’s.
Gb Sciences’ Parkinson’s therapeutics are currently being tested in a rodent model of Parkinson’s disease at the University of Lethbridge, and these Parkinson’s MEM have been formulated as Oral Dissolving Tablets in preparation for human clinical trials.
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