AXIM Biotech: New Clinical Program Featured in National Ophthalmology Publication Reignites Hope for Glaucoma Cannabis Therapy
April 12, 2017 5:40 am ET
Medical cannabis has gained widespread acceptance for several different medical indications, but ophthalmology isn’t one of them - with many members of the community recommending against the use of the drug. While research in the 1970s may have been inconclusive, new research suggests that the interaction of multiple cannabinoids could play a multi-factor role in reducing intraocular pressure (“IOP”) and inflammatory conditions in the back of the eye.
In this article, we will look at AXIM Biotechnologies Inc.’s (OTCQB: AXIM) progress in ophthalmology and why investors should take note.
Cannabis & Ophthalmology
Medical cannabis has gained widespread acceptance for several medical conditions, ranging from chronic pain to epilepsy. In fact, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved the use of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) MARINOL® - a man-made form of tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) - in the 1980s to treat loss of appetite in AIDS patients and nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy when all other options have failed. Interestingly, AXIM Biotechnologies recently announced research on a reformulated version of MARINOL® using their proprietary chewing gum delivery system that was featured in Forbes.
Researchers began studying medical cannabis for the treatment of glaucoma in the 1970s after noting that the drug’s use lowered intraocular pressure - or IOP - which causes nerve damage that can lead to vision loss or blindness. While the National Eye Institute and other organizations supported early research in the late 1970s, they discontinued these studies and moved onto prescription and laser treatment options, even as medical cannabis research advanced.
Despite its potential benefits, the ophthalmology industry remains staunchly opposed to the use of medical cannabis to treat eye disorders. The American Glaucoma Society issued a statement in 2009 recommending against medical cannabis treatment for glaucoma, saying that the drug produces only short-term results and the adverse side-effects may not be worth it. These sentiments have been mirrored in more recent publications and advisories as well.
Taking a Unique Approach
AXIM Biotech, a company specializing in cannabinoid research and development, is committed to developing cannabinoid-based therapies for glaucoma and dry eye. These research efforts are led by Dr. Robert Ritch, MD, who is a noted glaucoma specialist. This potentially groundbreaking research was featured recently in renowned medical outlet, Ophthalmology Innovation Summit.
Dr. Ritch became interested in the effects of medical cannabis on glaucoma when a 73 year old patient with IOPs usually in the 20s came into the office with a reading of 13mm Hg. The individual admitted to smoking marijuana the night prior, but not in the morning, which seemed to contradict popular beliefs that the IOP-lowering effects of medical cannabis only lasted a few hours at best - this appeared to last through the next day.
Dr. Ritch’s research centers on the theory that multiple cannabinoids act together in different ways that could affect IOP and other metrics. For example, there could be a drop or other formulation that not only lowers IOP but also provides neuroprotection, providing a double mechanism of action - one in the front of the eye and one in back of the eye. Devices like the Triggerfish - a contact lense sensor - could then be used to collect efficacy data over time.
AXIM Biotechnologies Inc. (OTCQB: AIM) is currently developing two drugs in the ophthalmology space, including AX-1603 for the treatment of glaucoma and AX-1606 for the treatment of dry eye. Under the direction of Dr. Ritch, these drugs could prove to be a breakthrough in the application of cannabinoids in the space and ultimately change opinions that have been established since the 1970s.
In addition to ophthalmology, the company has developed a robust clinical pipeline targeting a wide array of medical conditions with various delivery platforms and technologies. The company’s most advanced programs are chewing gum based cannabinoid therapeutics designed to treat serious medical conditions like multiple sclerosis pain and spasticity, as well as Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and dementia.
Investors may want to take a closer look at the company given its unique approach to ophthalmology and its potential across many different medical indications.
For more information, visit the company’s website.