AXIM Biotech: Cannabinoid Potential Worth the Complexity
July 24, 2017 11:33 am ET
Medical marijuana legalization may be sweeping the nation, but the term is a bit of a misnomer when it comes to actual medical evidence. After all, medical cannabis hasn’t been registered as a medicine in any country and only a handful of cannabinoid medicines have reached the market. The upshot is that many companies are working on developing cannabinoid-based therapeutics that appear very promising in early clinical trials.
In this article, we will look at AXIM Biotechnologies Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM) and its approach to developing cannabinoid-based therapeutics.
Drug Development Challenges
AXIM Biotech CEO George E. Anastassov recently wrote a column appearing in The Medicine Maker that discusses the challenges that researchers face in the development of cannabinoid medicines. While medical marijuana has been legalized in many states, researchers have only a rudimentary understanding of the cannabis plant and its effects on the body. The upshot is that there are signs that it may be able to address many unmet medical conditions.
Anastassov became interested in cannabis about 15 years ago when looking for a novel class of painkillers. Cannabinoids have been used for thousands of years across many different cultures, but they tend to be very hydrophobic and challenging to integrate into pharmaceuticals. With over 100 cannabinoids and 700 other compounds, such as flavonoids and terpenes, the plant is extremely complex and little understood given the legal status of the drug.
Currently, AXIM Biotech is working on chewing gum as an alternate delivery system to inhalation. Chewing gum presents challenges in terms of formulation and manufacture, but there are studies showing that mastication (the act of chewing) improves cerebral circulation, boosts memory, and reduces stress. As a drug delivery system, chewing gum also bypasses the gastrointestinal system and improves the bioavailability of cannabinoids.
Unique Drug Portfolio
AXIM Biotech’s most advanced program is its Phase II clinical trial of CanChew Plus Chewing Gum for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome – or IBS. In conjunction with Wageningen University in the Netherlands, the company anticipate completing the trial in the near-term and advancing toward a pivotal Phase III clinical trial later this year or early next year. A similar chewing gum approach is being used to treat pain and multiple sclerosis spasticity.
In addition to its chewing gum, the company’s Phase II AX-1602 program is a topical cannabinoid formulation that’s begin evaluated for the treatment of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis in conjunction with the Dermatological Center Maurits Clinic in the Netherlands. Earlier stage clinical trials are also focused on ophthalmic preparations designed to treat glaucoma and dry eye with cannabinoid compounds.
Management eventually hopes to build a vertically-integrated supply chain with full farming and manufacturing capabilities in Almere, the Netherlands. With over 10 patents and 20 trademarks, the team has already launched 10-15 commercial products as it works to push its clinical pipeline through the regulatory approval process. The company has also committed to expanding its pipeline to include further therapeutics as they’re discovered.
Recently, the company also announced that it would begin a clinical proof-of-concept study with its CBD and gabapentin chewing gum product to treat restless leg syndrome. The pharmacokinetics and double blind, randomized, single-center phase II trial, which will be conducted in Israel by a leading CRO, will demonstrate the efficacy of AXIM’s chewing gum product on around 30 study participants to treat RLS. RLS disrupts the lives of anywhere from 4% to 14% of the American population.
AXIM Biotechnologies Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM) represents a unique investment opportunity within the cannabis industry. With an experienced management team and diverse product pipeline, the company has developed a compelling pathway to market with two products in Phase II clinical trials in the Netherlands. Investors may want to keep an eye on the stock as the results of these studies are announced and progress is made toward commercializing the drugs.