Cannabics Pharmaceuticals (OTCQB:CNBX) is taking a unique approach for treating different types of cancers with its drug-screening tools and artificial intelligence (AI) platform to develop cannabinoid-based therapies that are more specific to a patient.
Although the company is publicly traded in the US, Cannabics Pharmaceuticals’ research and development (R&D) is based in Israel and licensed by the country’s Ministry of Health to perform clinical research on various combinations of cannabinoids and how they react with different types of cancer.
In an interview with the Investing News Network (INN), Eyal Barad, CEO and co-founder of Cannabics Pharmaceuticals, said that, when the company conducted its first pre-clinical study in an Israel-based university five years ago, it found that different combinations of cannabinoids have effects on “different cancers and different people.”
“When we found the optimal combination of cannabinoids, we were able to cause the cancer to commit suicide and […] the healthy cells were unaffected,” he explained.
Barad said that, through its lab, the company has been “collecting a lot of data” to provide a diagnostic product “for people to be able to personalize cannabinoid regime treatments.” He added that Cannabics Pharmaceuticals is also hoping to lead its own drug discovery or partner with other firms to find specific indications or target cancers with “specific combinations of cannabinoids” through its big-data platform.
When asked about how the company uses AI to develop cannabinoid-based therapies, Barad explained that, because there are so many different types of cancers and cannabis strains, when the cannabinoid compound of a certain strain is analyzed and applied to cancer cells, a picture is taken with a microscope and then analyzed for approximately 8,000 different parameters to “see how it’s affecting the cell.”
He explained, “all of that is translated into data, which we then need to make sense of to understand why certain [cannabinoid strains] are affecting certain cancers in what way.”
The company’s lab has a variety of tools that allow for miniaturization and automation of a wide range of biological assays. The automated system is made with a high-content screening platform, which analyzes cellular images and is designed for “quantitative microscopy.”
According to the company, readouts from these tools provide it with a deeper understanding of the effects of its cannabinoids on proliferation inhibition, apoptosis induction, angiogenesis and, of course, toxicity on cancer cells.
Meanwhile, Cannabics Pharmaceuticals’ high-throughput screening allows the company to test a variety of compounds on cancerous cell lines and tissues, allowing it to measure the “therapeutics effects” of those composites.
While the company is largely focused on treating different types of cancers, Barad said the company has “started to realize” that its platform “can be very powerful [and] can be used for a lot of different things.”
“We [will] provide our lab, our license [and] our expertise in cannabinoids, and [Wize Pharma will] provide [eye expertise],” Barad told INN. “Cannabinoids have an anti-inflammatory effect and [for] various eye disorders, that is a major cognitive.”
Barad further explained that the company’s plan will be to develop products for the eye that “alleviate some of those discomforts,” and said that the eye market is a “huge market.”
He noted, “we feel that cannabinoids can have various advantages versus what’s going on with steroids in the eye market, so that’s what we’re planning on doing.”
Although there are still regulation challenges surrounding cannabis in the US at a federal level, Barad said the company is able to continue moving forward in Israel with R&D thanks to having a license in the country. That said, he explained that the “big market” is in the US, and, with over 33 states having a cannabis regime in the country, it’s only a matter of time until legitimacy reaches the space in the US.
Barad said that the eventual plan will be to bring its solutions to US patients with the hope of providing informative data before cannabis becomes federally legal.
“We hope to be able to add some additional value and data for patients before that,” he said.
Shares of Cannabics Pharmaceuticals were priced at US$0.37 as of market close on Monday (March 25). Year-to-date, the stock has increased 15 percent from US$0.32 on January 2.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.