Pharmos discovers and develops novel therapeutics to treat disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems and systemic disorders involving inflammation and autoimmune dysfunctions. Compounds from the Company’s extensive library of cannabinoids are being tested in clinical and preclinical studies.
Pharmos’ synthetic cannabinoid library encompasses two major classes. The first of these consists of families based on several distinct chemical scaffolds that preferentially bind to CB2 receptors. Because CB2 receptors are mainly present in cells of the immune system, Pharmos is evaluating the potential of CB2-selective cannabinoid compounds as analgesics and as immunomodulators for treating inflammation and autoimmune diseases. The second class consists of dextrocannabinoids, which do not bind appreciably to cannabinoid receptors. Members of this class act as non-competitive NMDA antagonists and anti-oxidants, and also have the ability to block production of inflammatory cytokines. Members of this class have potential as anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective agents with possible applications in neuroinflammation including post-surgical cognitive impairment.
Cannabinor, the Company’s lead compound of the CB2-selective class, is in clinical development as an analgesic to treat moderate to severe pain of various etiologies. Cannabinor has completed a Phase I randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, intravenous, escalating single dose study in healthy male volunteers. In the trial cannabinor was found to be safe and well tolerated with no severe adverse events. A Phase IIa study in patients experiencing post-operative pain following third molar extraction is scheduled for initiation during the second quarter of 2006. Additional Phase IIa proof-of-principle studies will be conducted with patients suffering from other types of pain, including neuropathic pain.