GEN Exclusives

More »

GEN News Highlights

More »
Jun 12, 2013

Aphios, VivaCell to Develop Cannabinoid-Based Drugs for MS, CNS Disorders

  • Clinical-stage biotech company Aphios and Córdoba, Spain-based firm VivaCell Biotechnology España are joining forces to develop therapeutics for multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). Aphios and VivaCell have executed research and commercialization agreements to develop these drug candidates through preclinical studies, clinical development, and commercialization in the U.S. and Europe.

    Researchers at the University of Córdoba and Cajal Institute (Spain) in collaboration with VivaCell Biotechnology recently discovered a class of nonpsychotropic cannabinoids that reportedly has multiple activities on key molecular targets involved in neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, with very positive in vitro and in vivo data. “In vitro experiments have demonstrated that these compounds activate the PPARy pathway and bind to CB2 receptors showing both anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activities,” Eduardo Muñoz, Ph.D., CSO of VivaCell, said. “In vivo experiments have shown that they cross the blood-brain barrier and inhibit neuroinflammation in well-defined animal models of multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease.”

    This class of nonpsychotropic cannabinoids “could have a significant impact on multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease,” according to Trevor P. Castor, Ph.D., president and CEO of Aphios. He added, “We will apply our enabling technology platforms to enhance the oral bioavailability of these first-in-class compounds, bypass first-round metabolism in the liver, improve safety, and increase therapeutic efficacy.”

Add a comment

  • You must be signed in to perform this action.
    Click here to Login or Register for free.
    You will be taken back to your selected item after Login/Registration.

Related content


GEN Jobs powered by connects you directly to employers in pharma, biotech, and the life sciences. View 40 to 50 fresh job postings daily or search for employment opportunities including those in R&D, clinical research, QA/QC, biomanufacturing, and regulatory affairs.
More »

Be sure to take the GEN Poll

Patient Access to Genetic Information

Do you think patients have the absolute right to gain access to their own genetic information from medical or clinical laboratories?

More »