Israeli Company Receives Notice Of Allowance From US Patent Office For Synthetic Marijuana Pharmaceuticals

Thursday, 19 June 2003

Isrelin, NJ: The Israeli-based Pharmos pharmaceutical company announced last week that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the US Patent and Trademark Office for a patent application relating to the use of the company's synthetic marijuana derivative Dexanabinol in the treatment of stroke, anti-inflammatory diseases, and other disorders.

The company is presently in the patient-recruitment phase of a US Phase III trial on the effectiveness of Dexanabinol for the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). A previous Phase II trial by Pharmos of 67 Israeli patients found that Dexanabinol reduced mortality and eased intracranial pressure in subjects suffering from severe head injuries.

Similar synthetic marijuana derivatives have been effective in preclinical models in the treatment of a variety of disorders, including "inflammatory disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, brain ischemia, autoimmune diseases and pain," a Pharmos press release stated.

According to a 1999 report by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, naturally occurring cannabinoids in marijuana also provide symptomatic relief for a number of indications, including AIDS, cancer, and chronic pain. Authors of the study further noted that marijuana's neuroprotective qualities are the "most prominent" of its potential therapeutic applications.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500.