MGC Pharma approved to trial the use of medical cannabis to treat dementia
Special report: Medical cannabis developer MGC Pharma plans to find out whether one of its medical cannabis products can serve as a potential treatment for patients with dementia, marking a key milestone in the company’s pharmaceutical product development pipeline.
MGC Pharma (ASX:MXC) told investors today that it had won approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee to conduct a Phase II clinical trial of its product CogniCann in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The trial, which will be conducted with the University of Notre Dame in Western Australia (UNDA), is expected to start early next year.
CogniCann™ is one of MGC’s Good Manufacturing Practice certified, pharmaceutical-grade medicinal cannabis formulations.
The company says the product’s THC to CBD ratio is formulated for the treatment of key dementia symptoms and improving cognitive functions.
Professor Jim Codde, Director at the Institute for Health Research at UNDA, says dementia is an important area of research.
“Research initiatives into dementia is a national priority so we are very excited to work with MGC Pharma and the aged care sector to trial this novel approach to improve the quality of life for the almost 350,000 Australians suffering this disease that currently has no cure.”
Terms of the trial
The 16-week trial will evaluate the behavioural changes, quality of life and levels of discomfort and pain in dementia patients living in residential aged care facilities.
It was designed by Professor Uri Kramer of MGC’s Medical Advisory Board, which recently welcomed leading neurologist and epileptologist Associate Professor Wendyl D’Souza, and in partnership with the research team at UNDA.
A total of 50 patients aged 65 years or older will be involved.
A series of pre- and post-treatment surveys and focus groups will also be conducted to address staff and family member perceptions of the treatment.
MGC will own all of the IP and results from the trial, representing another marker on the company’s path toward amassing a library of medicinal cannabis formulations for the treatment of a wide range of health indications.
Most recently, MGC extended a deal to stock its cannabis skin care range with one of the world’s best-known retailers, Harvey Nichols and has seen a number of key wins as it looks to commercialise its CannEpil™ product, a phytocannabinoid-based medication for the treatment of refractory epilepsy.
MGC’s Managing Director Roby Zomer says they are eager to begin assessing the effectiveness of CogniCann™.
“We’re building strong relationships in the medical research industry and see this as taking the next step in our strategic growth and development of our seed-to-pharma capabilities.”
This special report is brought to you by MGC Pharma.
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