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CBD And Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: What Science Tells Us

Javier Hasse

A recent study revealed research findings around chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, or CIPN, and the potential for CBD as a treatment.

The study, conducted by Kannalife, a company in the Medical Marijuana Inc (OTC: MJNA) portfolio, and published in the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, showed that both CBD and the company's proprietary CBD-like molecule, KLS-13019, had protective action on the mitochondrial exchanger known to increase calcium levels — and therefore neuropathic pain — in patients taking the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel.

The company received a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for this research to apply potential treatment strategies to reduce or replace prescription opioid use.

“We're focusing on the difference in potency in terms of preventing the toxicity associated with [the chemotherapy drug] paclitaxel, with both CBD and KLS-13019. It's actually a greater difference in potency," said Dr. Doug Brenneman, Kannalife's lead scientist.

“The bottom line is that KLS-13019 is hundreds of times more potent against chemotherapy-induced pain, or in this case, what we're actually measuring is the toxicity of the sensory neurons. We're trying to protect the sensory neurons, which is where many chemotherapy agents actually end up.”

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What brought you to research this particular disease (CIPN)?

Our pre-clinical research into cannabidiol led us to develop our novel CBD-like compound, KLS-13019. Part of that research involved working with Temple University to compare the benefits of traditional CBD to KLS-13019.

We moved to a comparison study as a potential treatment for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. We received a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to continue research into CIPN and the potential for a new standard of care, as well as potentially replace opiates as a treatment for CIPN.

What are some key takeaway statistics or results and findings from the study?

Our goal is to demonstrate that the neuroprotective properties of CBD and KLS-13019 can be reduced by pharmacological or gene knockdown of the mitochondrial sodium-calcium exchanger (mNCX) in a statistically significant manner.

The key takeaway from this study is that while both CBD and KLS-13019 help attenuate morphine reward and heroin-seeking behavior in animal models, CBD does have limitations in terms of potency, safety and oral bioavailability.

KLS-13019 has shown evidence of improved in-vitro efficacy, improved safety and improved oral bioavailability over CBD in side-by-side preclinical evaluation.

What's next for this research and the company overall?

We believe that our current efforts with Temple University in the research of CIPN will lead to advancing our research in a Phase 2 NIDA grant. Kannalife is committed to taking KLS-13019 into a Phase 1 human clinical trial to treat CIPN.

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