The company said in a news release that it filed the patent request ahead of Phase 2 clinical trials of the formulation. The therapy was developed by MMJ Bioscience, an affiliate of MMJ International Holdings, which is based in Reston, Virginia.
Dr. Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, a neurology professor at the New York State MS Consortium, will oversee the study of the potential therapy’s ability to help patients with progressive MS, the most severe form.
“Entering Phase 2 trials is a highly significant point in the development of our cannabis-based medicines,” MMJ spokesman Michael Sharpe said in the November 2017 announcement. “These trials will allow us to demonstrate efficacy in a limited number of subjects and to establish the necessary dosage regimen and delivery mechanisms to provide the most effective relief to sufferers from the acute pain and spasticity associated with MS.”
Also in November 2017, MMJ Bioscience submitted an application for a patent covering the delivery of a formulation that would be tested in a Phase 2 trial for MS. The trial will be MMJ’s first study of a cannabis-based treatment for the pain and spasticity associated with MS. It is expected to begin in early 2018 in New York.
MMJ Bioscience hopes to bring cannabis-based medicines to market by 2020. It designed the products to provide patients with the medical benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive side effects or the health dangers associated with smoking.
If the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves a cannabis-based medicine, people in states where cannabis products have yet to become legal would have access to them, MMJ said. They would sell in pharmacies like other pharmaceuticals, it said.
“MMJ BioScience’s discovery of a novel cannabinoid pharmacology through our network of world leading scientists, our intellectual property portfolio, proprietary formulations, processing, and regulatory expertise uniquely position us to develop and manufacture plant-derived cannabinoid formulations at sufficient quality and uniformity according to the FDA regulatory requirements for pharmaceutical development,” the company said.