Cannabosides – A New Class of Cannabinoid Pharmaceuticals
Vitality Biopharma has developed a new class of cannabinoid prodrugs, known as cannabosides, which upon ingestion can enable the selective delivery of THC and cannabidiol (CBD) to the gastrointestinal tract.
Site-specific delivery could enable oral drug formulations of cannabinoids to provide therapeutic benefits while reducing or avoiding the systemic delivery of THC into the bloodstream. Currently, high concentrations of psychoactive THC in the brain limit the dose of cannabinoids that can be used elsewhere in the body for treatment of pain and inflammation.
Independent clinical trial results suggest that cannabinoids will help induce remission in Crohn’s disease patients, and that the vast majority of inflammatory bowel disease (“IBD”) patients experience symptomatic relief, including 84% of patients who report improvement in visceral or abdominal pain. Approximately 1.4 million Americans have IBD, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Most patients are diagnosed before age 30 and require life-long treatment.
A prodrug is a medication or compound that, after administration, is metabolized (i.e., converted within the body) into a pharmacologically active drug. Prodrugs are typically designed to overcome well-known drawbacks of currently available therapies. Vitality’s prodrug technology enables the selective targeting of specific tissues or organs, including the gut or brain, enabling the drug to have a more targeted effect. As of 2015, there were approximately 15 prodrugs that had been classified as blockbusters, defined as having annual sales in excess of $1 billion.
“CB2 receptors represent a braking system… for the resolution of inflammation and many of its symptoms. CB2 receptor activation therefore represents a very promising therapeutic target in gastrointestinal inflammatory states where there is immune activation and motility dysfunction.”
Wright, Duncan, & Sharkey., British Journal of Pharmacology, 2008.