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InMed’s (NASDAQ: INM) Latest Research Demonstrates Potential In Treating Alzheimer’s with a Rare Cannabinoid Analog

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By Meg Flippin, Benzinga

When it comes to treating degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, much of the current focus is on addressing the symptoms rather than repairing and regenerating the damaged tissues and cells. Some drugs and treatments may slow the progression of cognitive decline, but none can reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s.

That’s bad news given Alzheimer’s is a big and growing problem. As it stands, about 6.7 million people 65 and older in the U.S. suffer from the disease that attacks memory and cognitive functions. It’s only expected to get worse as the population ages – by 2060, it’s projected that 14 million people in the U.S. will suffer from Alzheimer’s.

The Promise Of Cannabinoids

Cannabinoid research is one area that holds promise in not only slowing the progress but also reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s thanks to the neuroprotective and regenerative properties of cannabinoids. Rare cannabinoids, like the ones identified by InMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: INM) – a leader in cannabinoids and cannabinoid analogs pharmaceutical research and development, manufacturing and commercialization – have promising properties.

For instance, they are highly lipophilic and can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, which is the specialized system of brain microvascular endothelial cells that serves to regulate several functions including shielding the brain from toxic substances (including viruses, bacteria and other foreign substances including many drugs), supplying brain tissues with nutrients and filtering harmful compounds from the brain back into the bloodstream. Cannabinoids' ability to easily breach the blood-brain barrier makes them potential pharmaceutical agents for neurological disorders. They are also capable of targeting multiple receptor systems which may prove helpful in treating complex diseases of the brain.

The Promise Of IMN-901

InMed has just launched a new pharmaceutical drug development program called INM-901, using a rare cannabinoid analog in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. Based on early in vitro research, the cannabinoid analog showed the potential to target several biological pathways associated with Alzheimer’s, providing neuroprotection to the brain neurons from beta-amyloid peptide-induced toxicity and improving neuronal function via the extension of neurite length.

In its latest in vivo studies, INM-901 improved cognitive function and memory, locomotor activity, anxiety-based behavior, sound awareness and neuronal function. INM-901 also displayed neuroprotective effects by reducing cell death in an amyloid-beta-induced cytotoxicity study. Previous in vitro studies showed this rare cannabinoid provided neuroprotective effects in a population of affected neurons and promoted neurite outgrowth. That points to the potential for INM-901 to enhance neuronal function.

“The most recent studies of INM-901 demonstrate promising disease-modifying effects in an Alzheimer’s disease treatment model,” said Dr. Eric Hsu, InMed’s Senior Vice President of Preclinical Research and Development in announcing the selection of INM-901 as a candidate to treat Alzheimer's. “We are optimistic that the next stage of studies will continue to show how this cannabinoid analog can improve neuronal function, a potential breakthrough in Alzheimer’s treatment.”

Rare Cannabinoids Could Treat Itch And Vision

InMed’s selection of INM-901 builds on the company’s pipeline of rare cannabinoids for a variety of therapeutic applications that have large unmet medical needs. Its work includes programs in dermatology, ocular conditions and Alzheimer’s disease. InMed is the first company to advance CBN, its active pharmaceutical ingredient into a phase 2 clinical trial, in the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa. It also has 2 ocular programs underway: aINM-088 CBN eye drops, which were developed to treat glaucoma, and the recently launched INM-089 program in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)).

Treating Alzheimer's with the existing therapeutics and the drugs on the market clearly isn’t enough. While they slow the onset and progression of this debilitating disease, unfortunately, they don’t cure it. Cannabinoids, particularly the one discovered by InMed, may change all that, someday providing relief to patients and loved ones who suffer from this widespread and growing form of dementia.

To learn more on the INM-901 program please watch their animation video on their website.

This post contains sponsored content. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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