A cannabis-focused Canadian pharmaceutical company has initiated a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of its cannabinoid-based medicines in treating end-stage renal disease or chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Ontario-based MediPharm Labs Corp. (MediPharm) today announced the commencement of the trial, which the company is conducting through a partnership with OTT Healthcare Inc. (OTT).
As principal investigator for the trial, OTT will study the safety profile of cannabinoid formulations for CKD patients, assess pain levels, and gauge the quality of life scores for those receiving MediPharm’s proprietary formulations.
MediPharm and OTT will collaborate on the development of the study drugs and select principal investigator physicians with proven leadership in the field of nephrology.
Data gathered during the trial will be implemented in randomized double-blind clinical trials to establish the safety and efficacy of the formulations.
“The particular area of focus for this very significant Agreement is vitally important,” says MediPharm Labs CEO Pat McCutcheon. “Renal disease is the 11th leading and 6th fastest-growing cause of death globally and those with it suffer from pain, pruritus (severe skin itch), impaired sleep, depression and fatigue. We believe deep research into the use of medical cannabis to treat the effects of this devastating condition is long overdue.”
McCutcheon says that the agreement holds a lot of meaning for MediPharm because it indicates the specialized pharmaceutical company’s dedication to sponsoring and participating in the rigorous scientific research that is required to bring the medicinal benefits of cannabis to patients in need around the world.
According to MediPharm, CKD affects an estimated 37 million adults in the United States, 1 in 10 people worldwide, and is a growing cause of death globally.
CKD patients also have a limited life expectancy, with 40 to 64-year-old patients having an estimated residual life span of approximately 8 to 4.5 years after starting dialysis.
Consequently, MediPharm says that optimizing a patient’s quality of life is a high priority.
According to MediPharm, while patients may turn to medicinal cannabis to manage CKD symptoms, its long-term health impacts and indications are not well established and create a challenge for clinicians to support its use.
MediPharm says that by providing tangible evidence of the benefits of medical cannabis in the treatment of CKD, the trial will facilitate the development of safe and effective pharmaceutical-grade products.