Biotech focus

New CBD-Infused Chewing Gum Promises Enhanced Bioavailability

Cannabis may be a Schedule I Controlled Substance with ‘no medical benefit’ in the eyes of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), but a growing number of clinical trials have proven that very real benefits exist. The success of companies like GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH) - a $2.8 billion cannabinoid-focused pharmaceutical company - has underscored that there’s a very real and large opportunity for cannabis-focused biotechs.

In this article, we will take a look at AXIM Biotechnologies Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM) and its efforts to develop highly-effective cannabinoid therapeutics leveraging its chewing gum delivery system.

Importance of Bioavailability

Cannabinoids may have anecdotal benefits when it comes to treating a variety of medical conditions, but effective treatments will require non-invasive delivery systems that provide a high level of bioavailability for cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids. These delivery systems have increasingly become an area of focus within the therapeutic side of the cannabis industry as the benefits of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) become more apparent.

2005 study published in the Pain Research & Management Journal found that THC bioavailability varied between 4% and 30% depending on the delivery method. Smoked cannabis had the highest THC bioavailability with an average of 30%, whereas cannabis edibles had lower THC bioavailability of between 4% and 12%. Unfortunately, smoke from marijuana combustion has been shown to contain many of the same harmful toxins as cigarette smoke.

AXIM Biotech has spent the last 14 years developing an oral, trans-mucosal, controlled-release delivery system that exhibits similar or improved bioavailability relative to smoked cannabis. The chewing gum delivery mechanism avoids the first pass metabolism that’s responsible for reducing the bioavailability of cannabinoids and for the hepatic metabolism of THC to 8-, 9- and 11-OH-THC, which are all toxic metabolites responsible for the side effects of cannabis consumption.  These are nausea, paranoia, etc.

CanChew+ Breakthrough

AXIM Biotech recently announced significant improvements to the bioavailability of its CanChew+ thanks to microencapsulation. According to its press release, the new technology has increased bioavailability from less than 50% after two hours of chewing to more than 80% in 30 minutes of chewing. The company also made improvements to the gum’s size and flavor, which makes it a more viable option for patients seeking treatment.

Aside from bioavailability, the company’s chewing gum delivery system has several other ancillary benefits. The act of mastication (chewing) stimulates the basal ganglia and improves cerebral circulation, while providing neuroprotective benefits like destressing and analgesic effects. Chewing gum is also much more socially acceptable than cigarettes, bongs, or even edibles and even provides a teeth cleaning effect and salivary production increase.

The company announced last month that it would begin clinical trials at Wageningen University in the Netherlands for its CanChew+ CBD gum for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) - the most common disorder diagnosed by gastroenterologists that accounts for up to 12% of total visits to primary care providers. The trial will include a group of at least 40 patients diagnosed with severe IBS by ROME III criteria to assess the effectiveness of CanChew+ in alleviating symptoms.  This particular CanChew+ gum contains 50mg of CBD.

Looking Ahead

AXIM Biotechnologies Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM) has made tremendous strides over the past years in developing its innovative chewing gum based delivery methods. The incorporation of microencapsulation technology to improve bioavailability to upwards of 80% within 30 minutes marks a critical breakthrough that sets the technology apart from other delivery technologies. Investors may want to keep an eye on the stock given its near-term clinical trials targeting IBS.

With a market capitalization of less than $500 million, the company represents an attractive opportunity within the cannabis industry given its innovative delivery systems and later-stage clinical pipeline, as well as its existing products already on the market.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.aximbiotech.com.