Cannabidiol, or CBD, could reduce the severity and prevent the progression of COVID-19 symptoms in patients with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions, according to Cardiol.
The Oakville-based company is developing CBD-based therapies for heart disease as well as proprietary nanotechnology to deliver pharmaceutical cannabidiol directly into sites of inflammation in the heart.
READ: Cardiol Therapeutics says its nanotechnology successfully delivers anti-fibrotic drugs to diseased heart
While coronavirus attacks the respiratory system, there is growing evidence that patients with COVID-19 are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular complications, Cardiol said in a statement.
What’s more, people with pre-existing cardiovascular disease are more likely to develop severe symptoms associated with COVID-19 and could suffer a worse prognosis than their healthy peers. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Cardiology, 35% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had underlying cardiovascular disease and had a significantly higher mortality rate than patients without heart conditions.
David Elsley, Cardiol’s CEO, told investors that the company is looking at how its CBD formulation could help COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular disease.
"Experimental evidence demonstrating the cardioprotective properties of cannabidiol suggest therapeutic potential in this vulnerable patient population,” Elsley said in a statement.
“As part of our strategy to develop cannabidiol for patients with heart failure, we look forward to investigating the anti-inflammatory properties of our extra strength CBD formulation in COVID-19 patients with cardiac injury, with the hope of significantly improving patient outcomes."
Pre-clinical research looks promising. In a model involving cardiac injury, Cardiol's pharmaceutically-produced cannabidiol had a cardioprotective effect that led to a reduction of fibrosis, cardiac hypertrophy, and the cardiac remodeling marker BNP.
Data from the research was presented at the American College of Cardiology's 69th Annual Scientific Session & Expo, held virtually at the end of March.
Shares in Toronto added 4.64% to C$3.16.
Contact Angela at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter @AHarmantas