Articles > Therapix Biosciences Plans Preclinical Study to Evaluate Opioid-Sparing Effects of Two Innovative Synthetic Cannabinoids
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Therapix Biosciences Ltd. (Nasdaq: TRPX), a specialty clinical-stage pharmaceutical company specializing in the development of cannabinoid-based treatments, executed a non-exclusive material transfer agreement with Yissum, the technology transfer company of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for two synthetic cannabinoids synthesized by Raphael Mechoulam, Ph.D., Professor of medicinal chemistry at the university and Chairman of the Therapix Scientific Advisory Board. Therapix plans to initiate a preclinical study during the fourth quarter to evaluate the opioid-sparing effect of these compounds in a rat model.
The opioid overuse epidemic in the United States was recently declared a public health emergency by President Donald Trump. According to Medical Care, prescription opioid overdose, abuse and dependence carries high costs for society with an estimated total economic burden of $78.5 billion in the United Statesalone. Nevertheless, for immediate relief of moderate-to-severe acute as well as chronic pain, opioids are frequently the treatment of choice due to their rapid onset and efficacy. However, due to their addictive nature and deleterious adverse events that may lead to lethal outcomes, there is a need to significantly reduce their effective therapeutic dose.
Dr. Adi Zuloff-Shani, Chief Technology Officer at Therapix, said, "To address the opioid issue, Therapix is collaborating with Professor Mechoulam to develop a therapy of innovative cannabinoids and opioids. The study builds upon the innovative work of Professor Mechoulam and seeks to reduce the use of opioids by combining them with proprietary cannabinoid molecules to alleviate pain."
"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," stated Professor Mechoulam. "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."
Josh Blacher, Chief Financial Officer at Therapix, said, "We are privileged to be working with Professor Mechoulam and the Hebrew University in paving the way forward to a potential new therapeutic that may one day help to address this deadly social and medical crisis."