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4 Questions With Cannabics Pharmaceuticals CEO Eyal Barad

4 Questions With Cannabics Pharmaceuticals CEO Eyal Barad

Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Inc (OTC: CNBX) is an Israel-based bio-pharma company focused on the development of “precision medicine, personalized anti-cancer diagnostics and cannabis-based treatments.”

While there are currently no products sold under the Cannabics brand, the company does have a product licensed to Wana Brands that's sold in Colorado. The sustained release capsules are marketed in the jurisdiction of the regulated medical cannabis sector. Cannabics has been conducting clinical and preclinical trials, so Benzinga decided to reach out to CEO Eyal Barad to ask him about some of his team’s findings and conclusions.

“We believe we're on a very important mission here, as things are changing quite rapidly [with] regulation [of] cannabinoids,” Barad said.

Benzinga: Tell us about an exciting thing you’ve done.

Barad: Four years ago, we came out with a slow release capsule that we put into preclinical trials at a hospital here in Israel to help with palliative advanced cancer patients suffering from cancer-related anorexia/cachexia (CACS). Our markers were weight gain, appetite and overall well-being in quality of life. We also included a marker for anti-cancer activity.

In addition, we did a study with one of the major universities here in Israel and results showed that various dosages of cannabinoids affect various cancer cells differently. We also found that the optimal combination of those cannabinoids can cause apoptosis on cancer cells — the cancer cells die out or "commit suicide" — while leaving healthy cells unaffected.

What we're aiming to do is to provide an extra layer of data pertaining to the particular patient, so that each patient and physician can make more educated decisions on which specific cannabinoids and treatments are best for each person.

Related Link: Prad Sekar Is Bringing Medical Cannabis Into Mainstream Health Care For Better Patient Care

BZ: What makes Cannabics’ solutions different that the ones on the market?

Barad: Currently there are no solutions on the market for the personalization of cannabis treatment for cancer, nor any approved cannabinoid-based anti-cancer medicines. We aim to build a platform that can predict, prognose and monitor cannabis-based treatments like the GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH) product Sativex — a 50-50 THC and CBD product which is currently being evaluated for the treatment of glioblastoma.

Our focus right now is on compiling large amounts of data to better understand the effects of cannabinoids, because there’s just not enough information out there. The complexity of medical marijuana and its early potential indicate that further research is necessary to uncover the drug’s full potential. We are collaborating with a lab in Germany to use artificial intelligence and the latest technology to gather this information.

Cannabics’ focus on this “big data” approach as well as personalized medicine, or the better understanding of the impacts of specific cannabinoids on specific types of cancer, is what sets us apart.

BZ: Why do you think Israel is a world leader in cannabis-related clinical trials?

Barad: Israel, first and foremost, had a great head start. Medical cannabis has been federally regulated for 10 years now. The country is home to some of the most groundbreaking research in the field.

Second, health care practitioners in Israel make less money than in the U.S. and Canada, so clinical trials are cheaper to do in Israel; you have a lot of skilled, talented scientific personnel here to conduct those trials. And you have a business environment which supports and encourages entrepreneurship. Cannabics identified the opportunities in Israel early on, and we are one of the first companies with an R&D license specific to the impacts cannabis has in medicine.

Related Link: Canada Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Nationwide Beginning Oct. 17: Experts React

BZ: We’ve noticed Cannabics is working on slow-release mechanisms for cannabinoid-based therapeutics. We’ve seen this in a few other companies. Why do you think slow release is becoming so big — or necessary?

Barad: While people want medication to act and provide relief as fast as possible, they don’t want it to go up and down. Slow release provides the benefit of immediate and longer-term relief by ensuring a consistent, slow distribution of the active ingredients in the patient’s body. Many people are concerned that using medical marijuana will result in an unwanted high, and many slow-release mechanisms also avoid this effect.

Cannabis investors can't afford to miss the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, a premier gathering of investors and entrepreneurs painting an honest picture of the opportunities and challenges in cannabis investing. Space is limited—get your tickets before they sell out.

Picture by Javier Hasse.


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