PreveCeutical Medical Inc (CSE:PREV) (OTCMKTS:PRVCF) unveiled promising news Wednesday that it has applied for two patents in Australia alongside research collaboration partner UniQuest (UQ) and The University of Queensland in developing non-addictive alternatives to opioid painkillers, through the use of cyclic peptides.
The Vancouver-based company's efforts in peptide research for pain relief are ramping up, and the two new Australian patent applications are based on the company's research collaboration UQ and UniQuest, with new intellecutal property being discovered from its non-addictive analgesics program at UQ.
"The research program aims to develop a non-addictive alternative to opioid painkillers by developing cyclic peptides. Opioid-based pain treatments such as morphine, codeine and fentanyl activate the mu opioid receptor, which can be highly addictive," said PreveCeutical President and Chief Science Officer Dr Mak Jawadekar in a statement. "This research provides a potential mechanism for pain treatment without activating that receptor. An additional potential advantage of the cyclic peptides is their enhanced metabolic stability and more importantly oral bioavailability, meaning that they could be taken orally rather than intravenously."
Peptides are currently being used to target an array of disease indications including metabolic disorders, pain, cancers, cardiovascular and infectious diseases.
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It's clear that the opioid epidemic has led to significant numbers of opioid-related deaths and addictions, taxing public health care systems and affecting social and economic welfare.
PreveCeutical currently has five research and development programs underway, including gene therapy for diabetes and obesity, non-addictive analgesic peptides to replace fentanyl and the like, and soluble drug delivery program, among others.
The two-year research program into the peptides and its potential application as a treatment for pain, is being led by UQ School of Pharmacy researchers, Associate Professor Peter Cabot and Dr Harendra (Harry) Parekh. UQ specializes in commercialising intellectual property of The University of Queensland.
"The patent applications represent an important milestone in our relationship with PreveCeutical and follow the entry into three other research agreements with PreveCeutical in recent years, including an agreement to stabilise peptides isolated from scorpion venom for use in immune-boosting applications; an agreement for the development of a new formulation to deliver cannabinoids directly to the central nervous system via the nasal cavity; and an agreement for a gene therapy to treat diabetes and obesity," said UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss.
Shares of PreveCeutical were at C$0.07 in Toronto and at US$0.05 in New York on Thursday.
Contact Katie Lewis at [email protected]