UK Pharmaceutical Company Finds Potential New Cannabinoid-based Cancer Treatment

credit: businessofcannabis

UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Plc (OCTP), a company dedicated to the development of cannabinoid-based medicines since 2017, made an exciting announcement this week. They are expanding their research and development efforts to focus on a groundbreaking new drug that shows promise in treating cancer.

This potential game-changer is an immunotherapy agent, which could be taken orally as a tablet. It offers an alternative treatment option for solid tumors, presenting a viable alternative to existing therapies.

The Development Marks A Significant Milestone for OCTP

The discovery of this new drug candidate came after OCTP entered into an exclusive license agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation. Through their collaboration, OCTP was able to identify this potential ‘first-in-class drug from their extensive library of nearly 500 cannabinoid derivatives.

During an investor update on Wednesday, July 19th, Dr. Valentino Parravicini, OCTP’s chief scientific officer, provided further insights. He explained that after analyzing the initial data, the research team is highly optimistic about the molecule’s potential.

Both in vitro (test tube) and in vivo (living organism) studies have shown significant promise. This development marks a significant milestone for OCTP and the field of cannabinoid-based medicine. With its expanded focus on cancer treatment, OCTP is poised to make a meaningful impact in the fight against this devastating disease.

Immunotherapy Treatment in Cancer

Immunotherapy is an innovative treatment approach that harnesses the power of the body’s immune system to combat cancer. This groundbreaking therapy encompasses various methods, such as monoclonal antibodies, checkpoint inhibitors, vaccines, targeted treatments, and biological therapies. Each of these techniques operates uniquely to enable the immune system to identify and attack cancer cells, ultimately impeding or delaying the recurrence of cancer.

It is important to note that immunotherapy may not be suitable for all patients and is currently approved solely for the treatment of specific advanced cancers. Like many other cancer treatments, immunotherapy can also entail certain side effects, including fatigue and complications related to inflammation and autoimmunity, which may manifest in any part of the body.

By leveraging the body’s own defense mechanisms, immunotherapy offers a promising avenue in the fight against cancer. As research and development continue to advance, the potential for expanding the application of immunotherapy to a wider range of cancers and minimizing side effects becomes increasingly feasible.

Cheaper And An Accessible Option

Currently, the mechanism of action for treatments involves the use of antibodies or cell therapies. However, these options can be costly and difficult to obtain, often requiring patients to travel to specialized cancer centers.

The OCTP believes that their new drug could revolutionize the treatment process. Instead of injections or infusions, this drug could be taken at home in the form of a tablet. This has the potential to reduce costs for both public and private healthcare providers and make treatment more convenient for patients.

Moving forward, the focus will be on conducting further in vitro and in vivo studies. Following these studies, a safety-pharmacology assessment will be conducted to select the final candidate, which is expected to occur in 2024. Clarissa Sowemimo-Coker, the CEO of OCTP, expressed the urgent need for new cancer medications. 

The OCTP team has made a groundbreaking discovery, offering a potential first-line treatment alternative to existing therapies and their associated side effects. This alternative could serve as a viable option for expensive biologics. Although it is still in the early stages, this news is incredibly exciting for the company.

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Meeting Unmet Needs in Neuropathic Pain

OCTP is making significant strides in addressing unmet needs in the treatment of neuropathic pain, specifically chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) and trigeminal neuralgia (TN).

The company has obtained approval from the MHRA for the initiation of a groundbreaking Phase 1 double-blind randomized control trial. This trial will evaluate the efficacy of OCT461201, a cannabinoid-based molecule developed by OCTP, in treating CIPN.

The first dose of this innovative treatment is set to be administered to participants in the near future. Furthermore, OCTP has successfully concluded safety and toxicology studies on a metered-dose inhaler. This inhaler is designed to deliver a combination of synthetic cannabinoids, namely dronabinol (THC) and CBD, to patients suffering from TN.

By focusing on the development of cannabinoid-based drugs, OCTP is at the forefront of revolutionizing the treatment of neuropathic pain. These advancements not only demonstrate the company’s commitment to addressing unmet medical needs but also highlight its dedication to improving the quality of life for patients.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.