Inmed Pharmaceuticals Files Provisional Patent Application for Opthalmic Drug Delivery
The following press release from InMed indicates something in the pipeline involving using cannabinoids for opthalmic treatment: InMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQB: (IMLFF; CSE: IN) is a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of novel therapeutics leveraging the pharmacological benefits of cannabinoids. Utilizing its proprietary bioinformatics assessment tool, InMed aims to identify bioactive compounds found within the cannabis plant that have the potential to offer optimized therapeutic benefit while demonstrating limited adverse effects.
A little research reveals that their initial product will be for the treatment of glaucoma with cannabinoids, as revealed here: InMed is developing a stimulus-responsive, nanoparticle-laden vehicle for controlled delivery of ophthalmic drugs into the aqueous humor of the eye. The first applications of this vehicle will be for INM-085 as a cannabinoid-based topical therapy to reduce the intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma. INM-085 is intended for application as a once-per-day eye drop administered immediately prior to the patient’s bedtime, intending to assist in reducing the high rate of non-adherence with current glaucoma therapies.
Glaucoma is the 2nd leading cause of blindness
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness, generally treated initially with eye drops containing prostaglandins, beta-blockers, alpha-agonists or other agents which if unsuccessful or inadequate in reducing intra-ocular pressure may be followed by laser surgery using “thermal” (ALT) or “cold” (SLT) lasers, as shown here: . The other option is incisional surgery such as Trabeculectomy or, more rarely, Valve, Canalostomy or Seton surgeries. Surgery is usually reserved for particularly resistant cases. Interestingly all glaucoma surgery is considered “temporary,” but the hope is that they will last a number of years. Clearly eye drops are the least invasive treatment so progress such as described by InMed would be a good thing, allowing once-per-day dosing and consequently greater patient compliance.
Is InMed using CBD?
InMed will only say that they are using their proprietary bioinformatics assessment tool to identify bioactive compounds within the cannabis plant that have the potential to have physiological impacts on specific diseases and that their INM-085 glaucoma drug will be composed of multiple cannabinoids identified by their assessment tool.
The endocannabinoid system is quite complex but a cursory understanding can be gleaned from scientific information online. Recent research articles (the journal Neural Plasticity 2016: Endogenous and Synthetic Cannabinoids as Therapeutics in Retinal Disease and The Endocannabinoid System as a Therapeutic Target in Glaucoma) seem to be focused on CB1 receptors with only a few researchers finding any CB2 receptors at all in rat and monkey eyes. The main benefit of CBD mentioned in research with regard to glaucoma would be its potential neuroprotective effect, which would be a boon to glaucoma suffers since their vision loss generally continues due to neurodegeneration even when intraocular pressure is well controlled..
So the answer is “probably not” as a treatment to lower intraocular but “possibly” for neuroprotective benefits. It will be interesting to see which of the 90+ cannabinoids they have evaluated will be use in their product.
By George Bennet,