SAN DIEGO, Sept. 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals Inc. (EHP), a development-stage company focused on treating life-threatening diseases through cannabinoid science, is pleased to report that key members of its scientific team have made a novel discovery indicating the potential of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), a naturally occurring non-psychotropic cannabinoid, to treat Huntington’s disease and other metabolic, neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases. These results were published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in a paper entitled, “Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is a potent PPARγ agonist with neuroprotective activity.”

The EHP scientific team has previously proven that novel, modified cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) derivatives have potent peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) activity and have also hit other disease modifying targets. EHP is currently developing drug candidates based on these cannabinoid derivatives for multiple sclerosis, scleroderma, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. These data were previously published in Nature, Scientific Reports.

This recent article in the British Journal of Pharmacology focused on the activity of Δ9-THCA, one of the most common cannabinoids (and a non-psychotropic precursor of THC), on PPARγ. PPARγ signalling has a role in neuroinflammation and epilepsy. Δ9-THCA is a potent PPARγ agonist and in this study exhibited neuroprotective and anti-neuroinflammatory activity in an animal model of Huntington´s disease.

This research was conducted at Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba (IMIBIC). Co-authors of this paper included Eduardo Muñoz, MD, PhD, EHP’s Chief Scientific Officer; Mari Luz Bellido, PhD, EHP’s Vice President of European Operations; Gaetano Morello, ND, an EHP director and scientific consultant; and two scientific and technical advisors to EHP (through VivaCell Biotechnology, a research consultant to EHP), Giovanni Appendino, PhD, and Stefan Meyer.

“There are many patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases that do not have access to effective treatments and cannabinoids represent a potentially effective solution. Publications like these provide evidence that cannabinoids hold significant pharmacological potential,” said Eduardo Muñoz, PhD, EHP’s Chief Scientific Officer, Professor of Immunology at the University of Córdoba, and corresponding author of the paper.

“Drs. Muñoz and Appendino have been pioneers in, and at the forefront of, cannabinoid research for the past two decades. We congratulate them on their ground-breaking cannabinoid research and again being published in this respected journal,” said Jim DeMesa, MD, CEO of Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals. “As we advance our preclinical work around our two novel cannabinoid drugs targeting neurodegenerative, auto-immune, and other life-threatening diseases, we look forward to continuing to work with these outstanding scientists as we work to initiate a Phase I human clinical study planned for 2018.”

Join us on our journey to address life-threatening diseases through cannabinoid science.

About Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals is focused on developing its library of proprietary, synthetic cannabinoid-derivative drug candidates for the treatment of inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. The company has two families of new chemical entities, based on CBD and CBG, that it has modified through rational drug design to affect validated receptors pertinent to targeted diseases. Its first drug candidate, EHP-101, is focused on treating multiple sclerosis and scleroderma. Its second, EHP-102, is focused on treating Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The company is advancing preclinical development with the intent to launch a Phase I clinical study in 2018. For more information, visit Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals is part of the Emerald Health group, which comprises multiple companies advancing diverse botanical, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products that may provide wellness and medical benefits by interacting with the body’s important endocannabinoid system.

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