Biotech focus

AXIM Targets Cannabinoid-based Ophthalmic Solutions

Global ophthalmology revenue is forecast to grow at a 9.48% compound annual growth rate from $13.7 billion in 2015 to $26 billion by 2022, according to Research and Markets. Despite medical advances, most ophthalmic disorders cannot be cured and treatment is aimed at managing the disease indication to reduce the severity of symptoms and slow the progression of visual field loss over time.

AXIM Biotechnologies Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM) believes that cannabinoids could play a big role in managing ophthalmology symptoms and potentially even reversing some diseases. With two programs in its clinical pipeline, the company is targeting glaucoma and dry eye - two of the most prevalent ophthalmological conditions. Investors may want to keep an eye on the stock as it has recently advanced both programs.

Cannabinoid Potential in Ophthalmology

The idea that cannabinoids can be helpful in treating glaucoma dates back to the 1970s. Studies conducted then showed that smoking marijuana lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with glaucoma, but the effects only lasted for about three or four hours. In addition, smoking marijuana led to a decrease in blood pressure that may lead to a harmful reduction in blood flow to the already-vulnerable optic nerve.

In 2000, researchers developed a non-psychotropic synthetic cannabinoid, HU-211, and found that a single dose reduced IOP by 5.3 mmHg (24% of baseline) in rabbits over a six hour period. Since the cannabinoid was administered locally, there was no systemic decrease in blood pressure that would have put the optic nerve at risk. These results showed that synthetic or non-whole-plant cannabinoids could play an important role in ophthalmology.

Researchers have taken these findings and other breakthroughs and used them to expand into other areas of ophthalmology, ranging from dry eye to inflammatory diseases of the eye. Google Scholar lists about 600 papers published this year alone containing the words “cannabinoid” and “ophthalmology”, which suggests an accelerated interest in the space. AXIM Biotechnology Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM) has joined these ranks with at least two clinical programs in the works.

AXIM Secures a Valuable New Patent

AXIM Biotech retained Ora Inc., a global contract research organization, in March to perform its upcoming product development and clinical trials related to glaucoma and dry eye. Ora will run the clinical programs under the supervision of Prof. Robert Ritch, Surgeon Director Emeritus and Chief of Glaucoma Services at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and a world renowned expert in ophthalmology.

“Despite new product approvals, glaucoma and dry eye remain ophthalmic diseases with significant unmet medical needs,” said Ora Inc. Chief Medical Officer David A. Hollander, MD, MBA. “Approximately 40% of glaucoma patients require more than one IOP-lowering medication. We hope that the development of new treatments with novel mechanisms of action will in turn reduce the risk of progression of visual field loss.”

In early October, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a Notice of Allowance for AXIM Biotech’s patent that claims the use of an ophthalmic solution comprising cannabinoids for the treatment of glaucoma and symptomatic relief of conjunctival inflammation. The CRO agreement and patent issuance put the company on track to begin its AX-1603 and AX-1606 clinical trials applying cannabinoid science to ophthalmology.

George E. Anastassov, MD, DDS, MBA and Chief Executive Officer of AXIM Biotech recently noted, “In 2016, global spending on glaucoma management was $6 billion, so we are excited about the opportunity that this new patent grants us to develop new treatments with novel mechanisms of action that will in turn reduce the risk of progression of visual field loss.”

Looking Ahead

AXIM Biotechnologies Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM) represents a compelling opportunity within the potentially $26 billion ophthalmology market. With two clinical products targeting glaucoma and dry eye, the company has engaged a reputable CRO and secured the necessary patents to move forward. Investors in the stock also have access to its diverse clinical pipeline of over 15 prescription and over-the-counter products in various stages of clinical trials.

For more information, visit the company’s website or download their investor presentation.