Israel’s InnoCan Pharma, a company specializing in developing novel therapeutics using cannabinoids, 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.
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InnoCan will join a team led by Professor Daniel Offen, 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 and 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, and 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.
The agreement gives InnoCan the option to receive an exclusive global royalty-bearing license to Ramot’s background tech and the research results to allow InnoCan to develop and manufacture this potential treatment for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. If InnoCan decides to exercise this option, the two companies have agreed to negotiate the license agreement, according to predefined commercial terms outlined in the agreement.