Nemus Bioscience announced that the company has signed a development agreement with Nanomerics of the United Kingdom to develop a topical ocular formulation of tetrahydrocannabinol-valine-hemisuccinate (THCVHS), the prodrug of THC, which is the active component of Nemus drug candidate NB1111 being developed for the treatment of glaucoma. The aim of the agreement is to conduct initial studies assessing the preparation of clinical-grade eye drops using the patented Molecular Envelope Technology (MET) developed by Nanomerics. Work under the agreement will commence on a future date to be determined by Nemus in connection with its development plans and corporate objectives.
"Historically, it has been challenging to formulate hydrophobic, or fat-soluble, cannabinoid molecules for efficient and predictable entry into the body, especially the eye," Brian Murphy, MD, MBA, Nemus CEO and Chief Medical Officer, said in a company news release. "Nemus has found the MET technology profile to be supportive of the work performed to-date using the more hydrophilic THCVHS which was designed to cross physiologic barriers more efficiently. Developing this formulation is an important step before conducting human studies."
"Nanomerics looks forward to working with Nemus on creating medicines that address the medical need for the improved treatment of glaucoma. Nemus, as the only cannabinoid company we are aware of with a complement of prodrugs and analogues of THC and CBD, is uniquely placed to potentially develop these for use in multiple forms of ocular disease," Professor Andreas Schätzlein, cofounder and CEO of Nanomerics, said in the news release.
"We feel that the MET platform will help NB1111 deliver in the clinic what has already been shown in several animal studies. Namely, penetration into multiple chambers of the eye, a non-opaque eye drop, and a neutral-pH at delivery to lower the risk of eye irritation which is an adverse event seen with some established therapies in glaucoma," Nanomerics' CSO and cofounder Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu said.
"Should we find success in formulating NB1111 using Nanomerics' MET, we could also examine its application using our proprietary Nemus ophthalmic analogue of CBD (NB2222). Our company objective is to establish strategic partnerships utilizing a diverse cannabinoid-based ocular platform to address multiple types of eye disease," said Dr. Murphy.