Cannabosides are a modification of a novel class of chemical compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. By ingesting cannabosides, their action is targeted and limited to the gastrointestinal tract. Other body locations are shielded from the compound’s action, limiting unforeseen side effects.
In preclinical studies with a model for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), researchers observed that cannabosides reduced weight loss and decreased damage to the colon (large intestine). These effects were accompanied by a significant improvement of gastrointestinal health when compared to placebo controls.
Cannabosides also achieved good results when used as therapy in the dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis model, widely used due to its many similarities with human ulcerative colitis. This mouse model is traditionally considered therapeutically very challenging, since certain FDA-approved therapies, such as corticosteroids and tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors, have failed to provide effective treatment.
These preclinical results with cannabosides are very promising and the stepping-stone for Vitality to proceed to their first-in-human clinical trials.
Other independent clinical trials have suggested that eight weeks of treatment with cannabinoids can help induce remission in drug-resistant IBD. And Vitality has previously reported a case study of pediatric Crohn’s disease, where the child achieved remission using cannabis after nearly all classes of FDA-approved IBD medications failed.
The targeted nature that cannabosides seem to display, affecting only the gastrointestinal tract, make these drugs particularly attractive for pediatric applications, since it seems they do not affect brain functions.
“We are excited to obtain this positive data for our cannabosides program, and to continue exploring the utility of our compounds for treatment of IBD and other key therapeutic applications,” Dr. Brandon Zipp, Director of R&D, and Scientific Co-founder of Vitality Biopharma, said in a press release.
Robert Brooke, Vitality’s CEO, added, “This is another example of our team delivering on a critical milestone. It puts us one step closer to ensuring that cannabosides will soon reach the hands of physicians and patients that deal with gastrointestinal disease every day, and who are eager for new treatment options.”