Israeli medical cannabis company InterCure Ltd. (TASE: INCR-L) announced yesterday that its wholly-owned subsidiary Canndoc had signed an agreement with the Shamir Medical Center (Asaf Harofe) for a clinical research program on children with autistic spectrum disorder. The program will be led by Dr. Orit Stoller , a pediatric neurologist at the Autism Center at Shamir, and Prof. Mati Berkovitch, head of the hospital's clinical pharmacology unit.
InterCure's share price is up 5% on the news, giving the company a market cap of NIS 499 million. The company is managed by CEO Alex Rabinovitch, former prime minister Ehud Barak, and former CFO of Frutarom Alon Granot, who runs Canndoc.
100 patients will take place in the research project, which will last 24 months, which will make it one of the longest such studies carried out so far. Canndoc will finance the entire cost of the study. Canndoc's oil products are made to EU-GMP standards, meaning that the company controls the composition of many of the substances that make them up, and not just the CBD and THC as required by Israeli regulations. Interchangeable products that are identical, or at least similar, from one batch to another, are the basis for meaningful clinical trials of cannabis-based treatments.
Canndoc already supplies cannabis-based products to children with autistic spectrum disorder, and has even offered these products at subsidized prices since the new medical cannabis regulatory framework, which raised prices, came into effect. The company says that over the years it has supplied over 500,000 products to more than 15,000 patients, among them children with autistic spectrum disorder.
Canndoc plans further clinical trials to test the effect of cannabis on epilepsy, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, side effects of chemotherapy, Parkinson's disease, arthritis, PSTD, and other indications.
"The incidence of diagnosis of children with autistic spectrum disorder is rising, and now stands at one in every 59 children, according to statistics from the US," Dr. Stoller said. "Conventional drug treatment currently provides a partial response. In recent years, consumption of cannabis in this population has been steadily rising, and it emerges that medical cannabis gives a good response to some of the symptoms of the morbidity associated with autistic spectrum disorder.
"This study is the first of its kind. It aims at testing the effect of treatment with medical cannabis on cognitive functionality, and functions and symptoms such as sleep, eating, restlessness, violence, and anxiety. This information is vital in order to establish the legitimacy of treatment with medical cannabis, and the method of treatment, as part of the range of treatments offered to children with autism."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 18, 2019
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