Advancing Cannabinoid-focused Research to Treat Parkinson's Disease
India Globalization Capital is focused on developing cannabis-based therapeutics targeting a wide range of disease, including Parkinson’s disease. After partnering with a leading Parkinson’s disease institute, the company hopes to design clinical trials that could prove the efficacy of medical cannabis and help physicians prescribe the plant.
Parkinson’s disease affects about one million Americans and ten million individuals around the world, costing the economy more than $25 billion per year. While there is no cure for the disease, there are many different ways to manage symptoms. Medical marijuana has been one of the most common self-treatment options for those suffering from the disease, but physicians are waiting for more clinical data before recommending the medicine to patients.
Parkinson’s Disease Market
Parkinson’s disease affects about one million Americans and ten million individuals around the world, which is more than the combined number of people with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Approximately 60,000 Americans are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year and those figures are set to increase as the U.S. population ages, since the disease incidence increases with age.
The direct and indirect costs of Parkinson’s disease is estimated to be nearly $25 billion per year in the United States alone. These costs include treatment, social security payments, and lost income. Medications cost an average of $2,500 per year and therapeutic surgery can cost upwards of $100,000 per person.
While there are several potential protective factors, including caffeine consumption, anti-inflammatory drug intake, and exercise, there are no cures for Parkinson’s disease. Most treatments start with levodopa preparations or agonists, like an MAO inhibitor or an anticholinergic. Surgery options, like deep brain stimulation, can also help improve symptoms in patients that have responded to levodopa.
Medical cannabis has shown promise as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. In fact, a study by the Parkinson’s Foundation found that 80 percent of patients have used the plant. Physicians surveyed in the study struggled to recommend cannabis given the lack of clinical data, but indicated that they would be more apt to use medical marijuana as a treatment if it were approved through regulation instead of legislation.
New Partnership Agreement
India Globalization Capital is developing cannabis-based compounds that could become part of the solution to treat the symptoms of progressive diseases like Parkinson’s disease. Its Serosapse program addresses several endpoints in Parkinson’s disease, including incontinence, rapid eye movement sleep disorders, anxiety, and dyskinesia (the impairment of voluntary movement), which are all debilitating symptoms associated with the disease.
On March 1, the company announced a joint development and services agreement with The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center of Sunnyvale, California. The company will work with the institute to identify new clinical end points for Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders that could be used to determine if natural products can help manage symptoms. The institute will assist the company in designing trials and creating protocols using its products.
The company recently announced the appointment of Parkinson’s Institute CEO Dr. Carrolee Barlow MD, PhD as an advisor. Dr. Barlow will help to develop solutions and treatments for Parkinson’s disease utilizing cannabis affiliated therapies. “We feel very fortunate to collaborate with IGC in a rigorous research approach to determine whether holistic cannabis products can alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s and movement disorders,” said Dr. Barlow in a press release announcing the partnership. “This is an opportunity for the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center to participate in this scientific study to help Parkinson’s patients worldwide.”
The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center is the nation’s only institute that provides patient care, basic science research, and clinical research in an integrated model. Patients have come from 38 states and many countries to receive care, while the experienced team has managed more than 135 clinical trials and evaluated more than 95 different drugs and therapies.