Skye Bioscience Is Utilizing A Novel THC-Derivative To Treat Glaucoma

The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

Skye Bioscience Inc SKYE is a biopharmaceutical company that is focused on developing a proprietary, first-in-class set of cannabinoid-derived molecules to treat a wide range of unmet medical needs. 

Their most recent focus has been the development of a groundbreaking treatment for glaucoma — a degenerative disease marked by irreversible vision loss. 

Changing The Game Of Glaucoma Treatment

In a healthy eye, fluid is produced and drained appropriately. But for an individual with glaucoma, this drainage becomes blocked, resulting in fluid build-up that leads to dangerous intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye. This pressure pushes on the retinal ganglion cells of the optic nerve causing injury and subsequent vision loss. Cannabinoids, specifically THC, have been shown to decrease IOP, making them an ideal candidate for new glaucoma treatments. 

However, THC alone is not an ideal therapy. For a glaucoma patient to experience the benefits, they have to ingest or smoke large amounts of cannabis – this is not targeted delivery and the necessary amount of cannabis consumption results in undesirable side effects. Skye Bioscience aims to solve these issues through a pharmaceutical application of THC delivered directly into the eye that has the potential to provide a consistent and reliable therapeutic effect. 

Skye Bioscience has formulated a novel “prodrug” of THC called THCVHS. “VHS'' refers to the molecule valine-hemisuccinate and is crucial to the success of this novel approach. VHS is responsible for helping the THC molecule get delivered directly into the eye,  ensuring sufficient absorption and enhancing therapeutic benefit. After THCVHS enters the eye, the VHS is removed by enzymes and leaves the THC to perform its duties. The company believes that this patented approach could be applied to other diseases with unmet need, offering compelling opportunities for this technology. 

The developers at Skye Bioscience also hope to capitalize on the neuroprotective properties of cannabinoids to address another form of glaucoma called normal-tension glaucoma (NTG). NTG is characterized by neurodegeneration of the optic nerve, without elevated IOP. It is particularly prevalent in China and India, and roughly one-third of glaucoma patients globally fit into this category of the disease. There is currently no treatment for the condition, making any therapy developed by Skye Bioscience a game-changer. 

“It's a pivotal moment to be an investor [in our company],” said Punit Dhillon, CEO of Skye Bioscience. “We’re tackling large market opportunities.”  

There is a high global incidence of glaucoma contributing to the high demand for this type of therapy and Skye Bioscience’s preclinical work have shown its drug to be more effective than the two leading glaucoma drugs currently on the market, boasting an average decline of 45% in high-IOP animal models.  

Looking Ahead

Skye Bioscience is focused on the rapid development of its THCVHS molecule. The company hopes to conclude preclinical trials in Q1 and Q2 of 2021, paving the way for human trials in Q3. They expect to have data as early as Q2 of 2022. 

To learn more about Skye Bioscience and their research, click here

Photo by Lucas Vasques on Unsplash

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

Posted In: Benzinga Global Small Cap ConferenceSkye BioscienceBiotechNewsPenny StocksHealth CareSmall CapGeneral