Vitality Biopharma (“Vitality”) (VBIO) is a cure development company, dedicated to unlocking the power of cannabinoid “prodrugs” as a means to treat serious neurological and inflammatory disorders. We are interested in drug approvals first and foremost, but our overarching mission is to improve the lives of patients afflicted with devastating neurological and inflammatory conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, narcotic bowel syndrome, and multiple sclerosis. In our programs, we aim to go beyond merely providing symptomatic relief to patients afflicted with these disorders, and to instead provide targeted therapies that can provide long-term or durable relief, as well as even help them recover lost function.
Prodrugs are medications or compounds that, after administration, are converted within the body into a pharmacologically active drug, which may already have a long history of clinical investigation and use. Because the reference drug already has independent verification of its safety and efficacy, some prodrugs may be approved rapidly through demonstrating similar bioavailability or bioequivalence. At the same time, a prodrug can be far more marketable due to its ability to eliminate unwanted side effects or undesirable commercial aspects. In our case, targeted delivery could enable oral drug formulations of cannabinoids that provide therapeutic benefits while reducing or avoiding the systemic delivery of THC into the bloodstream. A classic prodrug example is Aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, which was first made by Felix Hoffmann at Bayer in 1897 and is a synthetic prodrug of salicylic acid. As of 2015, there were approximately 15 prodrugs that had been classified as blockbusters, defined as having annual sales in excess of $1 billion.
One of the most hotly pursued cannabinoids for pharmaceutical purposes is cannabidiol, which is non-psychotropic, and has demonstrated therapeutic effects in clinical trials for serious neurological conditions including rare seizure disorders and for alleviating symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Our prodrugs could exert the same beneficial therapeutic effects, but with notable improvements, such as a better tasting formulation that enables improved patient compliance, better oral bioavailability that provides safer and more reliable dosing, or a delayed release mechanism that enables patients using these medications to have long-lasting, overnight relief. Given that we have recently filed intellectual property applications including strong composition of matter claims for more than 20 cannabinoid prodrugs, including versions of THC, CBD, and CBDV, we have demonstrated the ability to create a proprietary prodrug of every significant cannabinoid pharmaceutical available today.