Special Report: Incannex Healthcare (ASX:IHL) has flagged positive results from its study on brain-damaged rodents, with confirmation that its cannabis-based combination drug can protect against secondary brain injuries.

The company’s formulation, IHL-216A, combines cannabidiol (CBD) with an anaesthetic agent, and is designed to be administered soon after head trauma to reduce secondary brain injuries.

The study found that IHL-216A outperformed CBD alone by as much as 60 per cent in preventing neuronal damage, Incannex said.

New York-based contract laboratory Creative Biolabs performed tests on 108 rats, who had sustained brain injuries.

The study found that that CBD and the anaesthetic worked synergistically, when compared to just one or the other, Incannex said.

The brain-damaged rats treated with IHL-216A showed better spatial learning and memory compared to the others.

Port-mortem analysis of the rats also found less brain damage in the ones treated with IHL-216A, compared to those just treated with CBD, Incannex says.

While the research may not be for the squeamish, lab rodents have been used for 150 years to improve human health – and there’s nearly 10 million deaths and hospitalisations annually around the world from traumatic brain injury.

“The results of the animal study are extremely pleasing and steadfastly demonstrate significant improvements in the key markers of secondary brain injury in a highly controlled environment,” says Incannex chief executive and managing director Joel Latham.

“Our intent is for IHL-216A to be the first line of defence to dampen the short and long-term effects of traumatic brain injury, particularly in contact sports such as the NFL and the major contact sporting codes in Australia where CTE is a growing concern.”

Incannex says the product is designed specifically to satisfy World Antidoping Authority and Australian Anti-Doping Authority’s specifications for use by athletes at risk of traumatic brain injury and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).

The company has now applied for a provisional international patent for IHL-216A, and is examining its options for expedited filings in key jurisdictions.

Other key research

Incannex shares rose again in Tuesday trade, continued their strong Q4 rally which has seen the stock climb by almost 200 per cent since the end of September.

It’s been a busy period for Incannex, which 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.

The company also last month announced that a mouse study had further vindicated its cannabidiol/hydroxychloroquine combination pharmaceutical drug, IHL-675A.

The company is testing the anti-inflammatory cocktail to treat sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome, such as that caused by COVID-19.

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.