- In the U.S., more than 5.3 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and 46 million around the world have it
- Alzheimer’s disease cost the U.S. more than $236 billion in 2016, and the global costs topped $600 billion
- In 2017, IGC acquired exclusive rights to an Alzheimer’s treatment, based on THC, from the University of South Florida
- Huge valuation growth potential in light of other Alzheimer’s and cannabis-based companies
India Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE MKT: IGC) has been working on phytocannabinoid-based therapies for various medical conditions for some time. Its drug development pipeline consists of treatments for seizures, neuropathic pain, and eating disorders, but one gaining attention is an experimental cannabis-based drug for Alzheimer’s disease, IGC-AD1. A University of South Florida patent was issued in July 2015. However, the study of using cannabis to treat the disease began long before that. A Molecular Pharmaceutics report (http://dtn.fm/A48in) suggested that cannabinoids could be useful in treating patients, back in 2008; that was long before a scientific study made a breakthrough in 2014, claiming tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) had the potential to be a therapeutic agent for Alzheimer’s in a published report released by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
In a recent Benzinga article (http://dtn.fm/GmO6t), the details of the study were highlighted. Scientists suggested that THC molecules, representing one of marijuana’s main chemical compounds, could bind to and break up amyloid-beta protein, which is associated with plaques that form around nerve cells. The effectiveness has not overruled any concerns regarding safety. Clinical trials, though, have found the side effects of THC to be mostly tolerable for patients, and proper doses have been correlated with positive results. Many Alzheimer’s patients have experienced reduced delusions or mood problems.
In the elderly, the disease is a leading cause of dementia. The number of cases is expected to increase and even triple within 50 years, adding to the hardship on the quality of life of individuals and the associated health care costs. Treatment options have aimed at slowing or halting the progression. With THC, studies have identified molecular mechanisms associated with how cannabinoid molecules have a direct effect on amyloid plaques in the brain and how the disease progresses.
The first pharmaceutical company listed on the NYSE to develop cannabis-based therapies for Alzheimer’s, IGC remains the only publicly-traded cannabis pharmaceutical stock to address the disease. Nonetheless, other studies have revealed therapeutic promise in this area. Researchers at the University of Bonn and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem tried cannabis on old mice with decreases in memory. A long term, low-dose regiment of cannabis restored their memory performance to that of a two-month old mouse. The results were published in the journal Nature Medicine.
Also, genetic activity at the molecular level, and brain tissue, became more like that of younger animals. This included an increase in nerve cell links in the brain. The study preceded clinical trials on humans, which have since yielded promising results.
Finally, and perhaps even more important from an investment standpoint, is IGC’s potential for market valuation growth, given the company’s pipeline of Hyalolex for Alzheimer’s and other phytocannabinoid-based therapies. Other companies focused on Alzheimer’s, such as AVXL, AXON, ACIU, and BIIB, sport market valuations in the hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, while other cannabis-focused companies, such as CRBP and ZYNE, are already in the hundreds of millions.
To learn more about India Globalization Capital, its drug development pipeline, and its pursuit of cannabis-based therapies for Alzheimer’s patients, go to www.IGCInc.us
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