Cannabinoids Identified as Effective Antimicrobial Agents
Clostridium difficile. Provider: CDC/ Lois S. Wiggs Credit: Janice Carr
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Vitality Biopharma has announced the discovery of new antimicrobial activity of cannabinoids and its application for treatment of C. difficile-associated diarrhea and colitis.
Antibiotic-associated diarrhea and colitis has climbed markedly since the early 1980’s, and now the CDC estimates there are more than 2 million illnesses annually due to antibiotic resistance. Many of these severe infections are hospital-acquired and now known to be attributed to C. difficile, a pathogen that colonizes the gastrointestinal tract. C. difficile infections cause diarrhea and colitis and contributed to 29,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2015, primarily in sensitive elderly populations.
In experiments executed according to guidance by the Clinical Laboratory and Standards Institute (CLSI), Vitality determined that cannabinoids including THC are effective antibiotics for C. diff, VRE, and a variety of additional pathogens. On May 9th, 2018, Vitality filed a non-provisional international patent application pursuant to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (Appl. No. PCT/US2018/031727) titled “Antimicrobial Compositions Comprising Cannabinoids and Methods of Using the Same.” Vitality intends to prosecute this intellectual property globally, and VBX-100, a proprietary GI-targeted THC compound that avoids psychoactivity, will be investigated by the company for treatment of C. diff-associated diarrhea and colitis.
“VBX-100 is our lead program and it is thrilling to see clear new therapeutic applications for it emerge, especially in conditions like this that today are very deadly and difficult to treat,” said Robert Brooke, Vitality’s CEO. Dr. Brandon Zipp, Vitality’s Director of R&D, adds that “Our recent studies show that cannabinoids may be useful for both addressing the inflammatory state of the colon, as well as confronting the microbial dysbiosis at the root of the problem. This represents a new possible mechanism for cannabinoids, yet is very much in-line with the current scientific understanding that cannabinoids can play a prominent role in promoting intestinal homeostasis and long-term healing.”