- Smoking-related deaths have reached six million a year worldwide
- Lexaria’s patented drug delivery platform aims to deliver commonly smoked drugs in a non-smoking form factor that sidesteps smoking’s hazards
- Second round of testing continues to indicate that patented DehydraTECH™ platform provides rapid delivery with high bioavailability
As world drug industry regulations undergo revolutionary change and increasingly healthy populations find themselves challenged to meet the cares of old age, Canadian biotechnology company Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTCQX: LXRP) is forging a path that establishes it as a pioneer in the field of drug delivery platforms.
Lexaria’s mission is to ensure drug complexes can be orally ingested and absorbed by the body at a speed that rivals smoking’s effects, thereby eliminating any perceived benefit of smoking that might counter its known detriments to people’s health. Lexaria’s DehydraTECH™ solution is the only patented product in the world approved for all non-psychoactive cannabinoids through oral delivery, including pills. The company has secured patents in the United States and Australia and has patents pending in over 40 other countries.
Lexaria has already licensed its DehydraTECH technology to a variety of companies, including chocolate maker Nuka Enterprises, cannabis beverage manufacturer GP Holdings and Biolog, which markets cannabidiol (CBD)-infused products and vitamins (http://nnw.fm/daZ3y). Lexaria expects to enter new licensing agreements this year and beyond. Some of the licensing agreements include products with the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound derived from the marijuana strain of cannabis, and the company has also been conducting nicotine experiments as part of a societal push for alternatives to tobacco smoking.
In October, Canada will become the first country among the industrialized Group of Seven nations to legalize recreational marijuana use, although in some parts of the country brick and mortar stores won’t appear until next spring (http://nnw.fm/743yK). The months-long drive toward full legalization of the cannabis plant’s uses has been accompanied by debate over how much cannabis smoking society can tolerate, with regional governments generally opting to restrict smoking to non-public areas. But, as with tobacco use, marijuana smoking carries with it a risk of adverse health effects.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that six million people a year die worldwide as a result of smoking, with 30 times that amount living with serious illnesses brought on by smoking, and the numbers are expected to increase (http://nnw.fm/2CnPX).
Alternate forms of ingesting drugs have generally proven to be less effective or much slower than smoking, however. According to Lexaria’s promotional materials, inhaled cannabinoids have a “high bioavailability” estimated at 30 percent of the original substance, while under-the-tongue administered drops have a medium bioavailability of about 16 percent, accompanied by a foul taste unless taste-masking chemicals are used. Likewise, swallowed cannabinoids have a low bioavailability of three to five percent.
DehydraTECH uses a patented process that begins by combining fatty acids with the drug to help it survive the gastrointestinal tract for optimal bioavailability. Recent testing of its effectiveness in an animal in vivo study involving edible nicotine found that the drug passenger entered the bloodstream just minutes after dosing. The study pitted DehydraTECH against a concentration-matched control formulation and found that Lexaria’s technology delivered nicotine at each of the two-, four-, six-, eight- and 10-minute intervals post-dosing, with 90.2 percent greater delivery than the control compound by the 10-minute mark and significantly greater absorption levels at all subsequent time points in the study, a news release states (http://nnw.fm/1klGY).
The study focused on the rate of absorption over a 60-minute period, with primary emphasis on the first 15-minutes after dosing in order to determine DehydraTECH’s effectiveness as an alternative to smoking’s rapid delivery benefit. The study found marked improvement over the control formulation in terms of rapidity, total quantity and peak level, and it sustains the company’s first test phase through a third-party laboratory that took place over six hours using a smaller number of subjects.
“The blood plasma data from this nicotine study is considered statistically significant and corroborates and confirms the validity of the results previously announced on April 17, 2018,” the news release states. “A significant amount of data has yet to be received and analyzed from this study, including brain absorption data.”
Because DehydraTECH is showing promise in delivering therapies for nervous system disorders past the blood brain barrier, however, the company recently filed a new patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for treatment options for central nervous system diseases and disorders including ADHD, anxiety, depression, OCD, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and neuropathic pain (http://nnw.fm/tUEw4). It is the drug delivery platform’s inherent versatility that is attracting attention from such diverse industries as tobacco, cannabis and pharma.
“If we can develop viable ingestible alternatives to cigarette smoking we could help hundreds of millions of people avoid many of the disease states associated with smoking,” Lexaria CEO Chris Bunka stated in a news release. “And I cannot imagine a more rewarding destiny bestowed upon Lexaria Bioscience Corp.”
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.LexariaBioscience.com
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