Nuvilex is establishing a new subsidiary that's sure to be a hit, or at least lead to more hits in the future. The aim of Medical Marijuana Sciences will be to study the medical applications of marijuana (Cannabis sativa) and develop treatments for serious human diseases.
"The creation of Medical Marijuana Sciences is designed to strengthen our portfolio of natural source products and broaden the company's biotechnology base through studies using medical marijuana," commented Gerald W. Crabtree, Ph.D., COO of Nuvilex. "We believe that by leveraging the positive data collected from our completed Phase II clinical trial on our living cell encapsulation technology coupled with published research demonstrating the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids on a variety of indications will immediately position Nuvilex as a leader in the medical cannabis industry."
"The new subsidiary is a means to further employ our core technologies to capitalize on the rapidly growing medical cannabis industry and provide new products for unmet medical needs," Nuvilex' president and CEO, Robert F. Ryan, Ph.D., added.
Nuvilex, a clinical stage provider of natural products and cell and gene therapy solutions for the treatment of human diseases, isn't the only company that's working with cannabinoids. In June 2010, GW Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Schering Pharma launched Sativex—an oromucosal spray discovered and developed by GW Pharmaceuticals, and the first cannabinoid medicine derived from whole Cannabis sativa plant extracts for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS)—in the U.K. Sativex is currently approved in the U.K., Spain, Germany, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Sweden, New Zealand, and Canada.
Also, in March of 2012, Biogen Idec and MAKScientific, a company focused on therapeutics that modulate cannabinoid pathways, entered into an exclusive, worldwide option and collaboration agreement—one worth up to $34 million—in MS and other neurodegenerative diseases; Biogen Idec received an option for an exclusive license to select discovery-stage MAKScientific drug candidates for all indications worldwide. MAKScientific says that its technology provides a way to create medications without the undesirable psychotropic side effects associated with cannabis.