A Canadian life sciences portfolio and cannabis company has announced progress in a study of a non-cannabinoid molecule.
Earlier this month, Vancouver, British Columbia-based Juva Life Inc. (Juva) announced its advancement of JUVA-019 from discovery into pre-clinical development.
JUVA-019 is a small, non-cannabinoid molecule produced by the cannabis plant that Juva says has exhibited potent anti-inflammatory properties.
The molecule is not strain-specific and exists in almost all cannabis and hemp cultivars.
It is currently unknown whether plants other than cannabis produce the molecule.
Inflammation and Disease
Juva says inflammation, the body’s response to signal potential harm or organ damage, can be acute or chronic, with underlying triggers like cancer, heart disease, asthma, and arthritis.
Citing Rand Corporation estimates, Juva says nearly 60 percent of Americans have at least one chronic condition, 42 percent have more than one, and 12 percent of adults have five or more chronic conditions causing inflammation.
In November, Juva announced that it was beginning a preclinical comparative study to evaluate JUVA-019’s anti-inflammatory properties in conjunction with cannabinoids.
Juva says the study goal was to evaluate the inhibition of IL1-beta, IFNg biomarkers, and other biomarkers when introduced to JUVA-019 as a stand-alone molecule, creating a baseline.
According to Juva, additional complete lab studies have verified initial findings, showing that JUVA-019 is a potent stand-alone compound with anti-inflammatory properties that don’t rely on synergistic interactions with known cannabinoids.
Juva says that, while the molecule doesn’t rely on cannabinoid interaction, the research showed no synergy or benefit to combining it with cannabinoids or terpenes.
Juva says JUVA-019 and JUVA-041 are both stand-alone compounds.
In controlled studies, Juva says the anti-inflammatory properties of JUVA-019 can regulate two of the primary cytokine pathways, and JUVA-041 can regulate eight.
“We have completed a first step in our discovery process internally, and have repeated data obtained in a controlled manner with a reputable contract research organization that works with many biotech and pharma companies,” Juva told Candid Chronicle. “Now that this data has been repeated and verified, we are initiating formal development by understanding pharmacology in preparation for evaluation in animal models of human disease.”
Juva says that, rather than researching symptoms like cancer, eczema, and pain, it focuses on inflammation—the root cause of most diseases.
“We are excited about the nomination of JUVA-10 to formal development in which we will conduct detailed structure activity relationships on the JUVA-019 chemical motif to optimize its anti-inflammatory and drug-like properties,” says Juva CEO Doug Chloupek. “This is an important advancement in the validation of our platform, in that it suggests that there are unappreciated non-cannabinoid molecules in cannabis that may be both clinically and commercially valuable.”
Juva says its business focus is on developing safe and effective treatments that target the global anti-inflammatory market, which Fortune Business Insights estimates will reach $191.4 billion by 2027.
“Our next steps will follow the prescriptive advancement of JUVA-019 through the gold standard pre-clinical and non-clinical drug development process, initially focusing on exploring the structural requirements for activity,” says Juva VP of Chemistry Sanjeev Gangwar. “In parallel we will explore PD/PK relationships in a battery of in vivo models of human disease, with an initial focus on analgesia.”