SEATTLE, WASHINGTON and VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, September 23, 2020 – Pascal Biosciences Inc. (TSX.V:PAS) (OTC:BIMUF) (“Pascal” or the “Company”) today announced the Company has confirmed an earlier report that certain cannabinoids block replication of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Four different laboratories have now experimentally verified the antiviral activity of a cannabinoid. In addition, several cannabinoids have been tested, and the optimal compound has been chosen for further study. The best cannabinoid had potency similar to remdesivir in two different assays. Remdesivir is an approved drug from Gilead that improves recovery time for COVID-19 patients.
“We previously reported that our preliminary results would be confirmed with additional assays, and these studies validate our plans to develop a cannabinoid treatment for COVID-19,” said Dr. Patrick Gray, CEO of Pascal Biosciences. “Other groups have suggested cannabinoids such as CBD could benefit COVID-19 patients because of its immunomodulatory activity. We believe Pascal is the first to demonstrate direct antiviral activity for a cannabinoid.”
The four laboratories testing Pascal compounds are Southern Research, Institut Pasteur Korea, and two independent University of Washington academic groups. Three of the laboratories used the African green monkey kidney epithelial cell line, Vero E6, a common model system for testing coronaviral infectivity. In all three of these assays, the lead cannabinoid had good potency (antiviral activity in the range of 1 to 10 micromolar, similar to remdesivir). The fourth laboratory measured the antiviral effect on SARS-CoV-2 on the human lung cell line, Calu-3, and found the cannabinoid to be nearly 100-fold more potent in inhibiting virus-mediated cell death than it was in the Vero E6 experiments. This is an important observation, as the human respiratory tract represents the first point of contact with the virus. Pascal scientists are very encouraged by the reproducibility of the cannabinoid’s protective activity in different experimental systems and in different laboratories. These results support rationale for testing in animal models of COVID-19, both in single agent and in combination with other antiviral compounds such as remdesivir, and Pascal is currently planning these experiments.
“Because most cannabinoids can be safely administered and have favorable pharmacological properties, we are hopeful that this discovery will provide therapeutic benefit for COVID-19,” commented Dr. Patrick Gray, CEO of Pascal Biosciences. “This disease continues to destroy lives and economies across the globe, so new therapeutic options are urgently needed.”
There are many efforts to create a vaccine or therapeutic drug for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Pascal’s cannabinoid has the potential to limit the severity and progression of the disease. Typically, multiple drugs are required to provide effective antiviral therapy. For example, other viral diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C require two or three drugs for effective treatment. The novel discovery by Pascal scientists suggests a cannabinoid may well become an essential component of an effective drug cocktail for the treatment of COVID-19. The Company is not making any express or implied claims that its product has the ability to eliminate, cure or contain the Covid-19 (or SARS-2 Coronavirus) at this time.
About Pascal Biosciences Inc.
Pascal is a biotechnology company targeting innovative therapies for serious diseases, including COVID-19. Pascal is also developing treatments for cancer with targeted therapies for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and cannabinoid-based therapeutics. Pascal’s leading portfolio also comprises a small molecule therapeutic, PAS-403, that is advancing into clinical trials for the treatment of glioblastoma, and PAS-393, an immuno-stimulatory cannabinoid to be used in combination with checkpoint inhibitor therapy. For more information, visit www.pascalbiosciences.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dr. Patrick W. Gray, CEO
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