Around the world, ophthalmic treatment has ballooned to an estimated 253 million people. Based on prescriptions, the pharmaceutical market attached to it has increased 6% year-over-year, which is growing faster than the overall pharmaceutical market. To be specific, glaucoma and dry-eye make up a large percentage of the ophthalmic market.
And for many years, cannabinoids were thought to increase IOP (intraocular pressure) in glaucoma patients thanks to tests by Hepler and Frank in 1971 demonstrating dosage response 3-4 hours after cannabis inhalation.
However, the psychotropic effects on patients seemed to mitigate the positive IOP results. Further research was done eventually finding cannabinioid receptors in the ocular tissue, and microemulsions mixed with topical cannabinoid treatments have continued to further ophthalmic therapies especially for glaucoma as some specific cannabinoids have been found to increase ocular blood flow due to vasorelaxant qualities, while simultaneously having neuroprotective properties.
Bottom line, cannabinoids have shown the ability to make a difference in the ophthalmic market, and a recent move by Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Corp. Inc.
The Launch of a New Joint Co. to Advance Cannabinoid Eye Drops
“This new venture is part of our strategy to leverage our lab, R&D License and our teams’ know-how to develop and bring to the market cannabinoid-based medicine for specific indications where anecdotal evidence exists but scientific data lacks,” says Eyal Barad, CEO of CNBX. “Such is the case with Ophthalmic disorders, a field in which Wize Pharma has already made significant strides in its efforts to alleviate the effects of conditions associated with ophthalmic disorders, such as dry-eye.”
This union has the potential to be an intriguing one as WIZP brings a working and proven ophthalmic treatment platform to CNBX’s ability to differentiate and isolate the best cannabis strain for a specific treatment. The latter company does this through artificial intelligence and a high content screening platform offering laboratory researchers quantitative microscopy. Previously, the Israel-based CNBXhas used this platform in efforts to treat various forms of cancer as well as other maladies treatable by cannabis.
Collaborating might focus the best parts of each company toward an innovative solution that has already shown promise in clinical testing.
“The formation of NewCo offers Wize Pharma an opportunity to diversify its portfolio and expand the Company’s commitment to the Ophthalmic therapeutic arena, using its existing platform and expertise in the field and through research and development efforts focused on the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of various eye diseases including hitherto untreatable ones,” said Wize’s Chairman, Noam Danenberg.
For Cannabics Pharma, this move is a step in the right direction as the stock has traded on a sour note to start the year. In September, CNBX was trading above a dollar and it appears shareholders have grown impatient. This deal with Wize could provide an easier drug to put through the approval process, and, don’t forget, GW Pharmaceuticals