Therapix advances cannabinoid pipeline

Clinical and preclinical efforts include targeting sleep apnea, pain and infection

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TEL AVIV, Israel—Therapix Biosciences Ltd., a specialty, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focusing on the development of cannabinoid-based treatments, signed an agreement this fall with Assuta Medical Center, the largest hospital network and private healthcare provider in Israel, to conduct a Phase 2a, sponsor-initiated trial (the OSA Trial) for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) using the company’s proprietary cannabinoid-based technology, THX-OSA01.
Dronabinol, one component of THX-OSA01 and an exogenous CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist, has been shown in a proof-of-concept study by an independent group to potentially reduce abnormal respiratory events and associated hypoxemia in patients with OSA.
“In addition to the potential commercial opportunities we believe may lie ahead of us in our proprietary treatments for Tourette syndrome and traumatic brain injury, our exploration of the OSA market is a third indication that may have potential to be commercialized in the future if our clinical trials are successful,” said Josh Blacher, chief financial officer of Therapix.
More recently, in October, Therapix initiated non-clinical studies to evaluate the efficacy of its proprietary compound THX-150 in collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. THX-150 is a pharmaceutical composition of dronabinol (synthetic ∆9-tetrahydracannabinol) and/or palmitoylethanolamide along with a selected antibacterial agent that the company believes may possess synergies.
Finally, this November, the company executed a non-exclusive material transfer agreement with Yissum, the technology transfer company of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for two synthetic cannabinoids for which Therapix plans a preclinical study to evaluate the opioid-sparing effect of these compounds in a rat model.
“Based on our research surrounding the effects of the endocannabinoid system and how cannabinoids can play a role in pain relief, our group of research scientists has synthesized cannabinoids with improved binding affinity and target specificity, which do not cause the therapeutically undesirable cannabis psychoactivity,” said Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, professor of medicinal chemistry at The Hebrew University and chair of the Therapix scientific advisory board. “In view of their parallel actions in pain, cannabinoids and opioids together may allow the development of a novel therapy that could exhibit a synergistic effect that reduces the therapeutic effective dose of opioids.”

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