Special Report: Incannex Healthcare (ASX:IHL) shares have gained after the pharmaceutical development company announced it has evaluated its proprietary IHL-675A hydroxychloroquine/cannabidiol (CBD) drug for the potential treatment of COPD and asthma

The Melbourne-based company announced on Thursday it will broaden claims within its initial patent filings to include using the drug combination to treat COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma following the tests in 60 rodents.

Incannex said its drug combination, known as IHL-675A, reduced inflammatory markers in the mice far more than CBD or hydroxychloroquine alone.

While the drug has yet to be tested in people, getting a drug approved would be huge for the $160 million company. The global market for COPD and asthma drugs is expected to reach $US50 billion ($65 billion) by 2022 and has been growing 3.7 per cent annually.

Incannex has also been testing IHL-675A in mice as a possible treatment for the prevention and treatment of sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome, a leading cause of death from COVID-19.

Incannex has engaged Camargo Pharmaceutical Services LLC to assist the company in preparing for a pre-investigational new drug (Pre-IND) meeting with the Food and Drug Administration, and also hopes to have IHL-675A granted an emergency use authorisation for treating patients with COVID-19.

“IHL-675A is consistently showing stronger anti-inflammatory properties than CBD,” says Incannex chief executive and managing director Joel Latham.

“Continued research will reveal how important this will be to the cannabinoid sector in light of continued research globally on CBD and its application to inflammatory conditions.

“The synergistic action of IHL-675A allows us to substantially expand the potential uses for IHL-675A and presents new patient treatment opportunities.”

At 10.30am on Thursday, Incannex shares were up 6.2 per cent to 17c on the news.

Incannex also recently announced it is partnering with Monash University for a rigorous scientific study into the safety and efficacy of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of anxiety.

The trial will involve at least 72 patients, making it the largest psychedelic research and development project in Australia, and one that is expected to have a substantial impact on the field globally.

This article was developed in collaboration with Incannex Healthcare, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.