CURE Pharmaceutical is kicking off a first-ever clinical study to research cannabinoid compounds to treat leukemia and prostate cancer. More specifically, the company and its partner, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, will be testing to see if these cannabinoid molecules will attack tumorous cancer cells.
Right now, research on the subject is mostly limited to anecdotal testimonies from patients like 4-year-old Sadie Higuera of California, who had tumors shrink from medical cannabis and a tumor on her liver disappear.
"The tumors are believed to have been removed due to her cannabis use in which [a brand of] CBD (called Real Scientific Hemp Oil) was a major portion of the cannabinoids in her oil along with THC and CBN,” said Brian Higuera, Sadie's father. “[But] without a study to prove the cannabis oil is what caused the tumors to disappear, many say she is an anecdotal testimony."
Rob Davidson, CEO of CURE, wants to find hard scientific evidence to back up the cases of patients like Sadie. “There is strong anecdotal evidence, but we want to put some science into it,” he said, adding that they should have some data points in the first six months. “First, we'll do an in vitro study and see the effects on cancer cells. We can get into human trials pretty quickly in Israel.”
According to Dr. Steven Ross, co-founder of Advanced Med Academy, “The completion of a clinical study that shows the efficacy of CBD or other cannabinoids in cancer patients in the clinic, is exactly what is needed to prove out what had previously been just theories."
“I am certain that doctors and medical professionals will be watching closely,” Dr. Ross added. “I think there are a lot more physicians and medical professionals than you might expect waiting for such a study to meet the necessary regulatory approvals in order to have such options available for their patients.”
Several doctors have expressed their support of the study. Dr. Karen Kelley, the Director of the Holistic Healing Arts Center in Foley, Alabama said, “When we provide people with science-based, lifesaving knowledge, it can empower them to make choices regarding their health care options that are the best fit for them.” She noted that if the results of this study were positive, she would absolutely share this option with her patients.
Bonnie Goldstein, formerly Chief Resident at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, said the study could help doctors tailor cannabis treatments to suit specific subtypes of cancer. “I currently take care of many patients, both adults and children, that have life-threatening advanced cancers and so far, I have been unable to match cannabis treatment to the patient's specific cancer sub-type. Initial studies show that different cancers respond to the anti-neoplastic effects of different cannabinoids. This research will answer this question and will allow physicians like myself to tailor treatment for cancer patients.”
The Israeli team - a wholly owned subsidiary of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology - will conduct the study, but CURE will identify the appropriate cannabinoid molecules to examine.
This news comes on the heels of CURE announcing earlier this month that it was going to enter into the pharmaceutical cannabis sector.
CURE is headquartered in Oxnard, California and is best known for its CureFilm, a thin oral film that helps medicine enter a patients bloodstream more quickly. CURE Pharmaceutical was originally incorporated in 2011 and became a public company just last November in a reverse take-over of Makkanoti Group. Revenues for the first quarter of 2017 were only $31,945, whereas expenses were $2.4 million. Total assets are only $2.6 million, so it will be critical for the company to either raise additional capital or quickly turn these plans into revenue producers.
CURE Pharmaceutical hit a year's high of $8.85 and is currently trading at approximately $8.00 a share in the OTC Market. The company has a market value of $186 million with 23 million outstanding shares. The short interest in the stock has dropped by 41% as of April.