Medical cannabis formulation kills breast cancer cells in trial

pharmafile | June 28, 2021 | News story | Sales and Marketing breast cancer, medical cannabis, oncology 

UK-based pharma company, Apollon Formularies, have announced that their medical cannabis formulations were successful in killing triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells in 3D cell cultures in third party independent laboratory testing.

The announcement follows data released in May for another Apollon formulation that successful killed HER2+ breast cancer cells.

The trials were run in collaboration with Aion Therapeutic, with tests carried out by BIOENSIS, an independent, pre-clinical predictive pharmaceutical testing laboratory.

The testing results showed that Apollon Jamaica’s medical cannabis formulations were effective in killing living triple-negative cancer cells directly (direct cytotoxicity). With the Apollon medical cannabis formulations killing nearly 100% of the triple negative breast cancer cells in 3D cell cultures.

Stephen Barnhill, CEO of Apollon, said: “Cannabinoids have been seen to exert ‘antitumour’ effects by a number of different means, including killing cancer cells directly as well as inhibiting transformed cell growth and tumour metastasis. Apollon Jamaica, using results from its proprietary artificial intelligence-based analysis on strain genetics, has cultivated and processed certain of its proprietary medical cannabis products with cancer treatment expressly in mind.

“We are excited that our formulations have been validated via independent laboratory testing to kill both HER2+ and triple-negative breast cancer cells in 3D cell cultures through direct cytotoxicity.”

TNBC comprises about 10-20% of diagnosed breast cancers and is more likely to affect younger people, those of African descent, Hispanics, and/or people with a BRCA1 gene mutation. TNBC accounts for approximately 200,000 cases each year globally and is associated with worse prognosis, early relapse after standard chemotherapy, a high frequency of metastasis to lung, bones, liver and brain, and a low overall survival compared to other breast cancer subtypes.

Paul Burke, Chairman and CEO of Apollon Jamaica, said: “These Apollon formulation test results on TNBC and the plan to immediately begin treatments in Jamaica are extremely exciting developments for Jamaican women, in part, because Women of African Ancestry (WAA) are disproportionately affected by triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), Traditional chemotherapy, radiation and surgery cancer treatment protocols are expensive and require a great deal of infrastructure. As a result, many women in Jamaica and worldwide have gone without treatment or with only limited treatment.”

In a release, Apollon and Aion said there were plans to negotiate a joint licence agreement whereby Aion’s subsidiary AI Pharmaceuticals Jamaica Limited (AI Pharma) may exclusively license and use Apollon Jamaica’s medical cannabis proprietary and intellectual property protected formulations to manufacture products for sale in the US and Canada where legally allowed.

This intellectual property licence would allow Apollon to benefit from Aion’s sales in the US and Canada, where Apollon Jamaica is unable to sell medical cannabis products under current US and UK law. In both instances, medical care will be provided by physicians authorised to prescribe and/or recommend medical cannabis medications and treat patients in their jurisdictions.

Kat Jenkins

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