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CBD against covid19: Research continues
Israel’s InnoCan Pharma, a company specializing in developing novel therapeutics using cannabinoids. It has entered into an agreement with Ramot, the technology transfer arm of Tel Aviv University, to develop a novel approach to treat COVID-19 by using cannabidiol (CBD) loaded exosomes.
Exosomes are small particles created when stem cells are multiplied. They can act as “homing missiles”, targeting specific damaged organs. And also have an important role in cell-to-cell communication.
InnoCan will join a team led by Professor Daniel Offen. He is a researcher specializing in neuroscience and exosome technology at Tel Aviv University, to collaborate on the development of a cell therapy product, based on his work in the field.
The two groups will collaborate on a novel, exosome-based technology that targets central nervous system (CNS) indications and COVID-19. The disease caused by the novel coronavirus, they said in a statement.
CBD-loaded exosomes hold the potential to provide a highly synergistic effect of anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, to help in the recovery of infected lung cells.
When cell healing properties of the exosomes are combined with the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, it is expected to reach this high synergetic effect, according to InnoCan.
InnoCan has agreed to fund the research in the aggregate amount of about $450,000 in the first stage.
The product will be administered by inhalation, InnoCan said. Moreover, it will be tested against a variety of lung infections.
The research results may also be beneficial to additional treatments for Central Nerve System ( CNS ) indications, such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s Disease, the company said.
Several companies enter the game
InnoCan is far from the only Israeli company to test cannabis against Covid-19. However, since Cannasoul Analytics Ltd. also took part in this race against the clock. In collaboration with Professor Dudi Meiri of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Cannasoul will work on the development of two complementary drugs against the coronavirus. The first, to reduce the reactions of the patient’s immune system. And the second, to slow the spread of the disease by reducing the expression of receptors (a protein that allows the virus to receive and release substances outside the cell).
“We will try to identify the plant molecules capable of suppressing the reaction of the immune system of patients who cause inflammation. The molecules of the cannabis plant have the ability to reduce the immune system response without suppressing it, which will allow for better treatment than with steroids, which completely suppress the immune system, “said Professor Dudi Meiri in a report.
Is CBD an answer?
CBD is famous in particular for its anti-inflammatory properties. However, some people are unaware that inflammation is a vital response to the infection. So, it will isolate the affected areas and prevent toxins from spreading to the rest of the body. Therefore, reducing the inflammatory response would ultimately be counterproductive in this case. Since it would extend the life expectancy of the pathogens. Likewise for fever, another necessary immune response.
However, much research is still needed regarding the use of CBD against covid19. It is why it is hard to determine when this research will be put into practice. For a drug to be safe and effective, it must be studied in depth. Clinical trials need to be done, first on animals, then on humans, and this can take months or even years.
However, the fact that medical cannabis companies are joining biotechnology and biomedical companies in the race to develop a remedy for the coronavirus is always good news. All the more knowing that our future as humanity is at stake.