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Clinical trials will test cannabis-based cancer therapy

Two West Coast companies – Pascal Biosciences and SoRSE Technology – are collaborating to move the cannabinoid PAS-393 into clinical trials to test the drug’s effectiveness on a common immune-evading strategy that many metastatic cancers employ.

Pascal, which is headquartered in Vancouver, has discovered that its PAS-393 has the potential to make tumor cells susceptible once more to recognition and destruction by the immune system.  “This activity is especially important for immune checkpoint inhibitors, which depend upon immune recognition of cancer for their efficacy. Pascal is advancing PAS-393 as a combination therapy with checkpoint inhibitors for the 50 percent or more of cancer patients not currently helped by the checkpoint inhibitors,” said the company in a statement.

Seattle-based SoRSE’s water-soluble emulsion technology is used in more than 45 CBD products, including beverages, solid edibles and topical lotions.

“We were thrilled when Pascal reached out to us in the summer of 2019, asking to use our emulsion in their research study,” said SoRSE CEO Howard Lee.

“We’ve got the drug discovery and development expertise, and SoRSE has formulation capabilities, and that will help get (PAS-393) into the clinic,” said Patrick Gray, CEO of Pascal.

During their 15-month collaboration, the two companies will develop a cannabinoid formulation for human subjects and test the safety and pharmacology of the drug. Following that Phase 1a clinical trial, Pascal and SoRSE may continue clinical development as equal partners in a Phase 1b cancer trial.

Gray presented the science behind PAS-393 at the International Cannabinoid-Derived Pharmaceutical Conference in Boston in mid-September.

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