Hadile Ounallah-Saad, Ph.D.
Vice President of Research and Development, Cannassure Therapeutics
Current therapies for psoriasis have severe drawbacks. Cannabinoids may hold the answer.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition affecting more than 125 million people worldwide. Symptoms include intense itching, red skin, and dandruff on the surface of the body. Some psoriasis patients also suffer from psoriatic arthritis, a condition marked by painfully swollen joints; the pain is often severe to the point of disability. There is an urgent unmet need for safer, better tolerated, and more effective therapies. An innovative medical cannabis spray currently under development may be the answer.
Psoriasis is currently treated with three primary therapies: corticosteroids, biologics, and phototherapy. All three are associated with low patient compliance due to severe side effects (including bruising, infections, and skin burns) or low beneficial effects.
Recent reports indicate that medical cannabis might be beneficial for psoriasis, alleviating pain and itching. The active molecules in medical cannabis are cannabinoids, which act on the endocannabinoid system. This system is involved in maintaining homeostasis in most body organs, including the skin. Cannabinoids can also modulate keratinocyte proliferation, a key feature in psoriasis. Their anti-inflammatory effects are well-documented, and cannabinoids are effective pain killers.
Taken together, the anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, and pain-reducing effects of cannabis have the potential to modify psoriasis and positively impact the quality of life of individuals suffering from this condition when used topically, avoiding systemic exposure. However, there is a lack of clinical randomized studies with standardized products to prove the viability of this treatment approach, and the FDA recently issued a warning concerning the poor quality of many cannabis products, many of which employ deceptive ingredient labeling.
The main challenge in developing therapies based on cannabis extracts is the lack of standardization and the huge variability in cultivation conditions. However, using indoor aeroponic technologies Cannassure has been able to achieve standardization of the cannabis plant. The higher quality yielded makes the extract derived more suitable for manufacturing formulated therapies.
At Cannassure, the unique indoor cultivation and the combination of the AKVANO unique delivery system has resulted in extractions usable in developing cannabis extracts formulated into a unique, preservative-free spray. This unique spray enables direct and prolonged contact with the skin and improved penetration, which together increases the therapeutic potential.
Clinical development using a standardized product is the key to bringing a cannabis-based therapy supported by research and science-based evidence to the market. Using this approach, we can develop a standardized, high-quality, lab-tested product that can bridge the huge gap between the unmet needs of psoriasis sufferers and the available treatments.
This has been paid for by Cannassure Therapeutics.