Could Cannabinoid-based Drugs Provide a Solution to the Global Antibiotic Crisis?
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Therapix Biosciences a specialty, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focusing on the development of cannabinoid-based treatments, has initiated non-clinical studies to evaluate the efficacy of its proprietary compound THX-150 in collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. THX-150 is a pharmaceutical composition of dronabinol (synthetic ∆9-tetrahydracannabinol) and/or palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) along with a selected antibacterial agent that the company believes may possess synergies.
Adi Zuloff-Shani, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer of Therapix, said, "We believe our proprietary cannabinoid-based candidate therapy, which employs an alternative mechanism of action, provides a possible solution to the peril of antibiotic drug resistance. In our preliminary studies, we observed that cannabinoids increase the potency and decrease the minimal required therapeutic dosages of antibacterial agents, thus potentially minimizing the development of drug resistance and reducing side effects from antibiotic treatment."
Professor Itamar Shalit, M.D., Associate Professor in Pediatrics at Tel Aviv University and a leading authority on infectious diseases, said, "In our earlier non-clinical collaboration with Therapix, THX-150 was effective in eradicating resistant bacterial strains significantly better to what was observed in the bacterial controls treated only with antibiotics. In this particular case, we evaluated our technology's utility in acting synergistically with gentamicin, a well-accepted antibacterial therapy, and reducing its dose requirement for eradicating certain bacteria including resistant strains. We were encouraged by the early results and believe there could be broader applications within the antimicrobial sphere."
Dr. Berta Strulovici, Ph.D., Director of the National Center for Personalized Medicine in Israel said, "This collaboration between Therapix Biosciences and the Israel National Institute for Personalized Medicine (INCPM), at the Weizmann Institute, uses top-of-the-line genomic techniques and will accelerate the elucidation of the mechanism of action."
"There is a dire need for new antibacterials in the clinic," said Professor Rotem Sorek, a professor of microbiology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, who is one of the leaders in the CRISPR field. "An antibacterial drug with a new mechanism of action would be revolutionary."