Cannabinoids in Medicine
Cannabinoids can be categorized into three main groups: endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are the hormone-like messengers of the mammalian endocannabinoid system, which regulates numerous physiologic, immunologic, and cognitive processes. The phyto- and synthetic cannabinoids can modulate this system. Over 90 different phytocannabinoids have been identified from Cannabis; the two most well-known and studied are the psychotropic Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and the non-psychotropic cannabidiol (“CBD”). While therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids are widely perceived, rigorous preclinical and clinical data are limited. Recently there has been an impressive expansion of basic cannabinoid research along with a growing public interest in the medical applications of Cannabis plants or pure cannabinoids. In June 2018, the first plant-derived CBD formulation for the treatment of seizures was approved by the FDA. Through a series of converging discoveries, Pascal’s research programs have yielded new cannabinoid-based molecules with anti-cancer potential. Pascal is progressing two of these programs towards clinical development: PAS-403 for glioblastoma, and PAS-393 for other advanced cancers.