KannaLife in R&D Collaboration for Cannabinoid-Based Drugs
KannaLife Sciences will team up with two drug discovery technology companies in a collaboration designed to develop new cannabinoid-based neuroprotectants. The value of the collaboration was not disclosed.
KannaLife will fund the collaboration with Advanced Neural Dynamics and IteraMed, aimed at drug discovery for a lab-validated phytochemical that has been found to be neuroprotective in cortical neuronal cultures exposed to toxic levels of glutamate or oxidative stress.
The founding science is based on the licensed technology of A.J. Hampson, Ph.D., a neuropharmacologist at the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation within NIH’s National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH).
KannaLife holds an exclusive license with NIH’s Office of Technology Transfer to commercialize U.S. Patent 6,630,507, "Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants," on October 7, 2003, awarded to Dr Hampson and two other investigators, Nobel laureate Julius Axelrod, Ph.D., (1912–2004) of NIMH, and Maurizio Grimaldi, M.D., Ph.D., leader of the Neuropharmacology/Neuroscience Laboratory at Southern research Institute and co-investigator for the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke High-Throughput Drug Screening Facility for Neurodegenerative Disease.
The patent covers their discovery that cannabinoids have antioxidant properties unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism, making them useful in treating and protecting the body from a variety of oxidation-associated ischemic, age-related, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. The researchers also found the cannabinoids were neuroprotectants, limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and HIV dementia.
News of the collaboration comes about a month after KannaLife won $1.5 million in Series A funding from two publicly traded companies focused on therapeutic applications for cannabis, Medical Marijuana and CannaVEST.
“The NIH-exclusive license in our opinion is a true industry game changer. Our investment in KannaLife helps further build our pipeline of patented cannabinoid-based medical products,” Michelle Sides, chairman and COO of Medical Marijuana, said in a March 7 statement announcing the funding.
Advanced Neural Dynamics and IteraMed are located at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, a 112,000 square-foot biotechnology incubator in Doylestown, PA.