GW Expands Cannabinoid Research in the Field of Diabetes and Metabolic Disease
News Jul 17, 2009
GW Pharmaceuticals plc has announces that it has entered into an exclusive strategic alliance with Professor Mike Cawthorne and the Clore Laboratory, University of Buckingham, focusing on the research of cannabinoids, and other phytomedicines, in the field of type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease. A dedicated section of the Clore Laboratory has been named the “GW Metabolic Research Laboratory”.
Professor Cawthorne is Director of Metabolic Research at the Clore Laboratory, University of Buckingham and a recognized world leading authority in the research of new treatments for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
At SmithKline Beecham he was Group Director for diabetes and obesity research and led the research team that discovered the multi-billion dollar insulin sensitizer drug, rosiglitazone (Avandia®).
The principal objectives of this strategic alliance are as follows:
- To provide GW with a dedicated facility for undertaking pre-clinical pharmacologic studies of cannabinoids in the area of metabolic disease
- To provide GW with exclusive access to plant-based therapies under evaluation at the Clore Laboratory
- To support the pharmaceutical development of new GW cannabinoid medicines to address defined aspects of the metabolic syndrome
- To provide expert advice to GW, through Professor Cawthorne, in the metabolic disease area.
Dr Geoffrey Guy, GW’s Chairman, said, “We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with such prominent experts in the field of metabolic research. GW has already carried out pre-clinical studies on its cannabinoids in several models of diabetes with promising results. We believe strongly that our in-house research programme in the field of diabetes and metabolic syndrome offers significant commercial potential. This collaboration will allow us to progress this research effort to develop a number of potential new cannabinoid product candidates in this therapeutic area.”
Professor Cawthorne, Director of Metabolic Research at the Clore Laboratory, University of Buckingham, said, “I am particularly encouraged by the results of pre-clinical studies performed to date on GW cannabinoids and see exciting potential for the development of new treatments in the field of type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders. I look forward to working closely with GW on the development of new metabolic medicines.”
GW’s Cannabinoid Research in Diabetes and Metabolic Disease
GW has carried out pre-clinical research on its cannabinoids in several models of type 2 diabetes. Results of this research show desirable effects on plasma insulin, leptin and adiponectin levels, hormones of particular relevance to the development and treatment of diabetes. In addition, these results have shown a reduction in total cholesterol with an increase in the proportion of HDL (good) cholesterol.
GW’s two leading cannabinoid candidates in this field are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabidiol (CBD). CBD has shown potential beneficial effects in hypercholesterolaemia and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, while THCV has shown desirable effects notably in raising energy expenditure. Exploration of the effects of these two cannabinoids in combination confirms that a number of the components of the metabolic syndrome can potentially be addressed with a single medicine.
Both THCV and CBD have now successfully been the subject of Phase I clinical trials. GW is preparing to advance a combined THCV:CBD drug candidate into a Phase IIa multiple dose study in the treatment of dyslipidaemia and fatty liver in Type II diabetic patients.
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