Zelira Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:ZLD) (OTCQB: ZLDAF) will collaborate with the Parkinson’s Foundation in the US to gather insights from people living with Parkinson’s Disease about their understanding of and use of medical cannabis and hemp-derived therapies.
Zelira and the Parkinson’s Foundation will consult on the development of a survey tool to be sent to people with the diseases to understand why and how they are using medical cannabis and hemp-derived CBD products.
They will review the results as they relate to a possible future clinical trial on the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis use by people with Parkinson’s disease.
Separately, Zelira will also incorporate survey insights to inform future development of clinically validated medical cannabis and hemp-derived CBD medicines for people with Parkinson’s disease, and provide guidance to people with Parkinson’s regarding various cannabinoid-based and hemp-derived CBD treatment alternatives.
Zelira founder and chairman Osagie Imasogie said: “Our Zelira Board is very supportive of this collaboration with the Parkinson’s Foundation which will provide us with essential insights to inform our product development to address the specific needs of people with Parkinson’s disease.
“This effort is consistent with our focus on patients and our desire to provide them with as many treatment options as possible.”
Chief business officer Tom Borger said there was a lack of definitive studies informing clinicians and patients with Parkinson’s about the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis.
He said: “One of the objectives of the survey and this collaboration is to provide guidance to people with Parkinson about the need for clinically validated medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD medicines that might address their symptoms.”
Parkinson’s Foundation (US) president and chief executive officer John Lehr said: “Many people with Parkinson’s disease are seeking help with their symptoms by trying various forms of medical cannabis.
“The volume and frequency of questions Parkinson’s Foundation receive from people with Parkinson’s regarding the safety and impact of medical cannabis and CBD has led us to examine this public health issue more fully, and to seek collaborations with leaders in the field from academia, government, advocacy groups and industry to provide the most accurate information possible.
“Zelira Therapeutics, a leader in disease-specific medical cannabis therapeutics, has committed to helping people with Parkinson’s understand the role that medical cannabis might play in managing their daily symptoms.”
Parkinson’s Disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the US, affecting nearly 1 million Americans and 10 million people worldwide.
There is no cure for the disease, which is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (eg shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression), as well as non-motor symptoms (eg depression and anxiety).
The Parkinson’s Foundation is focused on improving the care of sufferers and advancing research toward a cure.
Zelira is working with world-leading researchers and organisations to develop branded cannabis products for the treatment of a variety of medical conditions and is undertaking human clinical trial programs focused on insomnia, autism and opioid reduction with activities in Australia and the USA.
Other work includes pre-clinical research examining the effect of cannabinoids in breast, brain and pancreatic cancer as well as research examining the potential for cannabinoids to treat diabetes-associated cognitive decline.
Zelira has also formed a strategic partnership with European medicinal cannabis group HAPA Pharm BV, to access EU good manufacturing practice (GMP) grade manufacturing capabilities and its German distribution network to provide a credible and rapid path to commercialisation for successful clinically validated formulations.
The company also has the ability to conduct clinical trials in the US and is establishing a national footprint across the country for the licensing of its products.