Emerald Biosciences’ proprietary bioengineered cannabinoid-based platform is designed to improve therapeutic options through enhanced chemical engineering that allows drug candidates to have enhanced bioavailability and more predictable pharmacokinetics leading to optimized efficacy and safety. To date, preclinical studies of our lead product candidate, NB1111 (THCVHS), have demonstrated the potential to reduce intraocular pressure and the reduction of biomarkers associated with inflammatory and fibrotic reactions to injury. The neuroprotective qualities of the proprietary cannabinoids are also being studied to assess the direct neuroprotective capability of the molecules to preserve vision, especially in glaucoma.
HOW IT WORKS
THCVHS is a true prodrug of THC and is converted in vitro and in vivo to THC. The patented bioengineering associated with THCVHS results in a superior capability to enter both the anterior and posterior compartments of the eye, which permits interaction with cannabinoid receptors involved in regulating IOP, while THC alone is not capable of effectively entering the eye.
Enhanced Bioavailability & Pharmacokinetics
Studies show that the eye possesses an elevated density of cannabinoid receptors in all compartments, especially on organs that regulate IOP and tissues that comprise the retina. THC derived from THCVHS, by activating cannabinoid receptors, results in increased fluid drainage from both the normal and glaucomatous eye via enhanced channel opening through vessel dilation and anti-inflammatory/anti-fibrotic activities.
Significant Lowering of Intraocular Pressure
THCVHS in a standard eyedrop lowered IOP significantly better than pilocarpine and timolol, established glaucoma drugs, with an average decline of 45% in a high-IOP animal model. THCVHS in a solid lipid nanoparticle (SLN), a precursor to the nanoemulsion formulation, was able to attain higher concentrations of the drug into the eye, especially the posterior compartment where retinal ganglion cells that comprise the optic nerve reside.
Studies show that THC has direct neuroprotective activity on retinal ganglion cells across multiple species of animals, including primates. Nerve death is the central disease process associated with irreversible vision loss in glaucoma.