What do medications, the cannabis plant, and Teva Israel’s ex-CEO Ron Mayron have in common? Answers below.
InnoCan Pharma is a pharmaceutical company founded by Ron Mayron, a former CEO of Teva Israel; Yoram Drucker, a founder of Brainstorm and Pluristem; Nir Avram, VP of R&D at Emelia; and CEO Iris Bincovich, extensively experienced as VP of Marketing at pharmaceutical start-ups. The company’s uniqueness is in its development of medications that integrate cannabinoids (components of cannabis).
InnoCan Pharma was formed after its founders familiarized themselves in depth with activities involving medical cannabis and reached the logical conclusion that in the future the importance of cannabis will be recognized in the pharmaceutical sphere. For that reason, the day is not distant when medications containing cannabis will be sold in every pharmacy, without prescription.
The company has channeled its management’s wealth of accumulated knowledge and experience into the development of two revolutionary products:
♦ A treatment for psoriasis. This severe skin disease is considered incurable, which has not prevented the pharmaceutical market from easing its symptoms to the volume of some $5 billion a year in the USA alone.
♦ A cream for muscular aches. We all suffer from such aches in one way or another, and the pharmaceutical market for pain relief amounts to turnovers of some $22 billion a year in the western world alone.
Those two medications, which integrate cannabis components, constitute the first step in the company’s activity and already are providing an innovative alternative to the steroid-based medication market and the market for medications based entirely on cannabis (which is considered an expensive ingredient that drives the product’s price up).
InnoCan Pharma is the first company in Israel with impressive success in completing a crowdfunding campaign through a proposals aggregator (Pipelbiz) and raised some ₪4 million.
Brainose is a company seeking solutions for placing cannabis directly into the brain in a targeted fashion without going through the bloodstream. Such a technology will yield a faster response time for the active ingredients inside the patient’s body, as compared with other techniques for intake of medical cannabis. One possible solution is to send the cannabinoids, in targeted fashion, deep into the nasal passage near the olfactory nerve, and from there directly to the brain, bypassing the blood–brain barrier.
That method would make possible a detour around the brain’s physiological defense system, a system that makes many substances difficult to introduce to the brain — such as some of the active ingredients in cannabis extracts, which are weak in ability to penetrate the blood–brain barrier.
The preparation is suitable for use at home, easy to use, precise, and pleasant for the user, does not require smoking, is not dependent on the user, is efficient, and works quickly (within seconds). The effectiveness of treatment will be tested for various indications such as pain, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, brain cancer, and brain damage.
Yossi Bornstein, president of Cann10: “This innovative development amounts to an important additional step in a process that has been advancing in recent years — turning cannabis into a safe, efficient medical product in Israel and worldwide.”
Another of the unique technologies at Cann10’s accelerator is by Trichome Shell, an Israeli company developing particularly innovative consumer products from cannabis. The development is performed in Israel, with a view to the American market and with analysis of that market and its changing trends, the goal being to create products that have not yet been seen and to bring them to the global market.
The company’s primary products are these:
♦ Moodpicks: Toothpick-like slivers made from cannabis plant extract. The moodpick is meant not for cleaning teeth but for smoking. It can be inserted into a cigarette or added into a rolled joint. The technology that the company has developed enables the cannabis extract — which, in its natural state, is a sticky liquid — to be solidified in a toothpick shape. The unique process also makes possible control over the level of active ingredients in each moodpick.
♦ Powder-Power: The active ingredients in cannabis are lipophilic (fatty) substances that do not dissolve or mix well into water. Trichome Shell provides a creative solution to that problem by means of technology that can turn cannabis extract into a water-soluble powder. The powder can be added to any drink — coffee, tea, shakes, or water. This product too provides for complete control over the proportions of active ingredients in each serving, so that the consumer’s experience is consistent from each usage to the next.
For each product, Trichome Shell develops special production lines installed at licensed factories in the USA. At this point there are a number of companies in the USA making use of the technology from the company.
An Israeli-Brazilian team of scientists is currently investigating a possible solution to two modern-age epidemics — obesity and type-2 diabetes. Type-2 diabetics make up 90% of the diabetics in Israel, and the cost of caring for them is estimated at roughly a billion dollars a year.
In people aged 40 and over, diabetes is responsible for most of the blindness, amputations, renal insufficiency, and more. In addition, diseases arising from obesity are considered another epidemic in the USA and the rest of the West, with severe financial implications for the health system.
At Cann10XL, Israel’s leading accelerator for innovation in the medical cannabis sector, an innovative international technology is being developed. It gives a peptide access for treatment inside the cell and in interaction with the CB1 and CB2 receptors that belong to the human body’s endocannabinoid system, answering a global challenge that currently has no solution.
There have been past attempts to manipulate the endocannabinoid system with the body’s receptors, but they were halted after it emerged that the treatment — because it caused interactions with brain cells — led to severe symptoms such as depression and even suicide.
The innovative technology showed highly impressive results in pre-clinical tests. Currently an additional, more extensive pre-clinical test is being planned, in order to broaden the experimentation with the peptide and the treatment. Among the innovations in the new development is prevention of side effects such as depression by using the peptide — with its inability to penetrate the blood–brain barrier — to prevent the treatment from reaching the central nervous system
Ofer Spottheim, general manager of the Cann10XL technology accelerator: “We are on the verge of a global breakthrough that can be expected to materially counteract the worldwide epidemics of obesity and diabetes. At the annual scientific conference of the Israel Diabetes Association, this development was recently named the outstanding project; and I believe that within two years the technology will be undergoing clinical tests.”