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Friday, May 22, 2020
Pathway Rx Advances Research that Shows Potential for Medical Cannabis to Treat COVID-19
Data collected from previous studies conducted in collaboration with Swysh and commercial partner Sundial Growers reveals that some medical cannabis cultivars can help reduce the severity and complications of COVID-19 disease
LETHBRIDGE, AB, May 5, 2020 /CNW/ - Pathway RX Inc. ("Pathway Rx"), a research company dedicated to developing custom cannabis therapies to treat specific diseases and Swysh Inc. ("Swysh"), a cannabinoid oral health product developer, today announced that they intend to further advance their research to evaluate the potential for medical cannabis to treat COVID-19 and its possible complications. These efforts will include the publication of more research papers and the initiation of clinical trials to validate the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis to treat COVID-19.
Results from a study by Pathway Rx were recently shared publicly and the research paper was submitted to a scientific journal for peer-review. The study's data suggests that a limited sample of high CBD Cannabis sativa extracts modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels in gateway tissues of the COVID-19 causing virus and also have the potential to inhibit its entry into cells, curtail disease spread and reduce mortality. The study was conducted using artificial human 3D models of oral, airway, and intestinal tissues. A second research study that examines the use of cannabis extracts for taming the cytokine storm will be published soon.
"Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been generally accepted by the scientific community as a receptor required for the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into human cells," said Dr. Igor Kovalchuk, CEO of Pathway Rx and holder of a Health Canada License for Cannabis Research. He added that, "Our initial findings warrant further investigation but it's possible that medical cannabis products could become a safe adjunct therapy for the treatment of COVID-19."
Among the 1,000 Cannabis sativa varieties that have been screened by Pathway Rx, only a small number have expressed medicinal properties. The most promising of these varieties are licensed to Pathway Rx's commercial partner Sundial Growers Inc. (Nasdaq: SNDL) and are currently in production at its facility in Olds, Alberta.
Pathway Rx aims to seek funding from many sources to support its research goals including the recently announced $1.1 billion from the Canadian Government to support scientific initiatives to address COVID-19. "The Government of Canada's latest investment to support the health of Canadians creates a significant opportunity for Pathway Rx to advance our research and accelerate the development of custom therapies and products to help combat COVID-19," said Dr. Kovalchuk.
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