With a prevalence of 20 per million newborns in the United States, and an estimated 500,000 patients worldwide, epidermolysis bullosa is a group of rare inherited skin diseases that range in severity from mild to lethal and have no currently approved or known cure or treatment. The condition was brought to the public attention in the early 2000s, and, since then, efforts to find a cure have not born fruit, with most research and development focusing instead on addressing the symptoms, such as reducing blistering and swelling and preventing wounds and pain. However, a new product currently in development by Vancouver-based biopharmaceutical company InMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQB: IMLFF) may change that, having the potential to basically reverse the disease.
The condition causes extreme skin sensitivity that often results in painful blisters on the dermis or mucosal membranes, as a result of minor trauma such as heat or scratching or friction. Usually showing up in infancy or early childhood, the disease has various symptoms such as the appearance of large blisters on the skin, mostly on the feet and hands; loss of fingernails or toenails; blistering in the respiratory system, blistering on the scalp and hair loss; difficulty swallowing; dental problems and more. In its more severe forms, epidermolysis bullosa can cause complications such as sepsis, malnutrition and anemia, dehydration, eye disorders and even skin cancer. In some severe cases where blistering is widespread, frequent infections and sores affect the patients’ ability to breathe and eat and ultimately result in their death.
This orphan disease has no known treatment, and it is therefore a significant unmet medical need that InMed Pharmaceuticals, focusing on the research and development of innovative cannabinoid-based therapies, is working to fill. According to InMed, cannabinoid compounds have recognized analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties, which make them excellent candidates to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with this condition.
The company’s lead product candidate, INM-750, is the first therapy developed specifically for epidermolysis bullosa, being designed both to alleviate symptoms and target dermis imbalances that may ultimately provide a cure. INM-750 targets cannabinoid receptors in the skin to help accelerate wound healing, reduce pain and itching, reduce inflammation, and more. By upregulating specific keratins in the skin, INM-750 may also help reestablish the epidermal junction and essentially reverse the condition for patients with epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS) – the most common form of the disease.
Earlier this month, InMed filed an international Patent Cooperation Treaty application for intellectual and commercial protection of INM-750 and a cannabinoid-based therapy for EBS. This marks a significant milestone for the company, serving as validation for its efforts to develop new therapies based on cannabinoids and its unique approach to drug development. The company is using a proprietary bioinformatics assessment tool to identify what bioactive cannabis compounds can offer the optimal therapeutic benefits, with limited side effects and a proprietary biosynthesis technology to manufacture and test these compounds in biological systems via in vitro and in vivo experimentation. These proprietary systems and its drug development pipeline are the company’s core assets.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.InMedPharma.com
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