EHP was one of the sponsors for the Benzinga Bio-Tech Conference that took place on March 24-25, 2021. The information contained in this article in no way represents investment advice or opinion on the part of Benzinga or its writers and is intended for informational purposes only.
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, has emerged on the health and wellness scene throughout the last 10 years or so.
CBD oil, which is commonly used for pain relief, is derived from the cannabis plant. CBD has also been found by many to help with inflammation, sleep disorders, depression and anxiety.
But what if chemical variations of this molecule could be used to treat more serious medical problems such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis?
Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals (EHP), a private biotechnology company located in San Diego, California, is doing just that.
EHP is developing an entirely new class of medicines derived from CBD and cannabigerol (CBG, another cannabinoid molecule) with the aim to potentially halt and repair disease progression in people living with devastating neurodegenerative, autoimmune and other conditions that currently have no cure. Approved therapies on the market today mainly address symptoms and have terrible side effects.
Through cutting-edge research, EHP discovered that chemically-altered aminoquinoline derivatives of certain cannabinoids, CBD and CBG in this case, can be used to not only treat, but potentially even reverse, the debilitating effects of many life-threatening and debilitating diseases.
One molecule, multiple therapeutic targets
EHP’s internationally patented, first-in-class molecules have been purposefully designed to target and modulate the activity of key biological receptors and physiologic pathways in the body, which are pertinent to challenging diseases such as multiple sclerosis, systemic sclerosis (a severe form of scleroderma), Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
The company’s scientists employed a specific, clever design strategy that uniquely enables a single molecule to positively impact multiple important targets. Starting with synthetic versions of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid molecules CBD and CBG, which have known health benefits, and making specific chemical modifications has resulted in EHP’s lead drug candidate, EHP-101.
EHP-101 demonstrates in preclinical studies the slowing and reversal of inflammation and nerve degradation involved in multiple sclerosis. It has also shown the ability to prevent scarring of skin and lung tissue that is inherent to systemic sclerosis. Similarly, EHP-102, the company’s second product candidate, has shown disease-modifying effects in models of Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
“To our knowledge, there are no drugs currently available capable of halting and repairing disease progression in these diseases. Based on the data from our preclinical and initial clinical studies, we believe the potential of our lead drug candidates could be significant in shifting the treatment paradigm for these debilitating diseases,” said Dr. Jim DeMesa, President and CEO of Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals.
Click the video below to see the profound preliminary indications and potential of EHP-101.
This video shows the effects in a preclinical study of EHP’s EHP-101 drug candidate. Multiple sclerosis was induced in two groups of mice — this includes a breakdown of the protective sheath around nerves (called demyelination). The first mouse, untreated, has low energy, cannot use its hind legs and has no hunger drive. The second mouse was treated with EHP-101 and appears to be normal: It regained energy, use of its hind legs and its hunger drive. The recovery of the second mouse is indicative of disease reversal as a result of using EHP-101.
“Through our focused effort, our first-in-class molecules have shown utility in animals and we’ve also already shown safety in a large Phase 1 human study. Now we have growing momentum in rolling out our Phase 2 human studies, with data from the first Phase 2 study in systemic sclerosis expected in early 2022,” said Dr. DeMesa.
EHP-101 is currently in its Phase 2 trial for the treatment of systemic sclerosis, meaning that adults living with the disease are taking the proprietary drug candidate to further refine dosing and provide an initial indication of efficacy. This is also the stage of development where historically biotech companies can achieve significant value. The company has also begun initiation activities for its Phase 2 study in multiple sclerosis.
A unique pre-IPO investment opportunity
For investors, EHP stands in a very unique position. The private company is currently in the tail-end of a Regulation A+ offering that allows investors, both accredited and non-accredited, to purchase shares of the company before it goes public. Typically, smaller investors are unable to invest in companies at this stage, but EHP has opened the doors for retail investors via this Reg A offering.
The FDA granted EHP-101 “fast track” and “orphan” drug designation for systemic sclerosis, which expedites the regulatory process. Fast track is granted to drugs that the FDA believes have the potential to treat serious medical conditions in a new way and address a significant unmet need and orphan designation is granted for rare diseases.
While the processes of clinical trials and FDA approvals can be lengthy, EHP is managed by a team of executives with many years of experience in getting through the drug development process. Each of EHP’s leadership team members have more than 30 years of experience each in biotech research and product development.
To date, the company has raised over $50 million and continues to show significant progress. The current pre-IPO equity offering expires at 12 a.m. EDT on March 28. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please visit www.emeraldpharma.life.
The preceding article is from one of our external contributors.
It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.
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