Emerald Health, a Canadian cannabis pharmaceutical company, is developing what could be a “holy grail” treatment for sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Myelin is a sheath around nerve cells – a layer of protective insulation – that helps nerves smoothly conduct signals. MS causes this sheath to degrade. This demyelination prevents nerves from smoothly conducting impulses, causing pain and other serious problems for sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and other demyelinating diseases or injuries.
Current treatments for MS all involve slowing the progression of demyelination. However, no existing treatment actually restores myelin, which would help reverse symptoms. A treatment that would facilitate remyelination would truly be a revolutionary step forward for sufferers of MS. As a recent article in Multiple Sclerosis Today indicates:
“Restoring the myelin sheath around nerves, or remyelination, would be considered a ‘Holy Grail’ outcome in the treatment of MS,” Jim DeMesa, MD, Emerald’s CEO, said in a press release.
Emerald is developing a synthetic derivative of cannabidiol (CBD), one of the major cannabinoids found in cannabis.
“Our new data demonstrate that EHP-101 can generate new myelin sheaths on the nerves damaged by MS, which is not reversible naturally in the disease. These preclinical data provide the first evidence of remyelination with our lead clinical-stage drug product candidate, and provide promising evidence for the possibility to treat, and potentially reverse, several forms of MS in the future,” DeMesa added.
A Phase 1 trial is currently underway in Australia. “If favorable, trial results are expected to support Phase 2 clinical studies in patients with MS and systemic scleroderma, expected to begin by the end of 2019.”
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