Cannabinoid-based Drug Effective Against Antibiotic-resistant MRSA
Credit: Lode Van de Velde
NEMUS Bioscience and the company's discovery and research partner, the University of Mississippi (UM), have announced that bactericidal synergy was achieved against multiple species of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) utilizing a proprietary cannabinoid-based therapeutic platform. MRSA species tested included community acquired- (CA-MRSA), healthcare-acquired- (HA-MRSA), and mupirocin-resistant (MR-MRSA) strains of MRSA.
In vitro studies demonstrated that when using unique strategic cannabinoid-based cocktails, fractional-inhibitory concentration (FIC) levels demonstrating synergy between mixtures of individual cannabinoid-based components ranged from 0.06 to 0.28. FIC findings below 0.5 indicate significant killing potential of the mixture.
"This work highlights the importance of Nemus' relationship with the University which has significant experience and intellectual capital related to cannabinoid chemistry and physiology, dating back to 1968," stated Brian Murphy, M.D., C.E.O. and Chief Medical Officer of Nemus. "These unique botanically derived components establish an anti-infective platform which could potentially be expanded into other types of bacteria, as well as viruses, and fungi."
Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly, professor at the National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR) at the University of Mississippi commented: "The University, in conjunction with Nemus, is looking to expand the anti-infective capabilities of this series of compounds. Historically, many types of anti-infective compounds are derived from plants so to have a series of cannabinoid-related compounds exhibit activity against this dangerous pathogen is in keeping with prior efforts of drug development. I believe that these compounds, in addition to the bacterial killing capability, could also offer benefits associated with anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties that could enhance healing, especially against an organism associated with skin and soft tissue infections."
"This anti-infective platform will constitute the NB3000 series of Nemus molecules and formulations. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) placed MRSA on their list as one of the top six organisms that pose a global public health threat. While there are a number of compounds in the development pipeline against MRSA, we believe that this family of drug candidates could possess an excellent safety profile in addition to efficacy in neutralizing this bacterium," stated Dr. Murphy. "Nemus will work with Dr. Elsohly, the University lead researcher on this project, to have this data submitted to a future scientific meeting and anticipates performing further testing against a variety of other bacterial species. Commercially, the company looks to actively pursue partnering opportunities for these candidate molecules."
Animal venoms are the subject of study at research center based at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. But in this case, the idea is not to find antidotes, but rather to use the properties of the venoms themselves to identify molecular targets of diseases and, armed with that knowledge, develop new compounds that can be used as medicines.