Home / Novel pain signalling assays for the development of cannabinoid-based medicines

Novel pain signalling assays for the development of cannabinoid-based medicines

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA – Friday, 18 Dec  2020 – Australian biotechnology company CannaPacific, today announced they will use novel assays to improve  understanding of cannabinoid-based medicines and their impact on human pain.

CannaPacific’s highly experienced pharmaceutical development team are producing high purity actives isolated from in-house developed cannabis strains. These isolates will then be screened at the University of Newcastle using pain signalling assays to establish new knowledge that will enable the development of improved pain medicines. 

“Attaining insights into the ancient human endocannabinoid system is leading researchers to believe that medicinal cannabis has an untapped role to play in both pain signalling and perception. This will provide CannaPacific with the ability to produce novel cannabinoid product formulations to address the unmet needs in pain management,” said Tim Bowser, the Chief Scientific Officer at CannaPacific.

Dr Erica Cameron-Taylor is a Palliative medicine specialist working with CannaPacific on the development of cannabinoid medications. “Improved medications for acute and chronic neuropathic pain – particularly for patients with cancer and patients in palliative care settings – is one of the Holy Grails of medicine. This research to understand the mechanisms behind how cannabinoids can treat pain is an exciting development for the future of pain management,” said Dr Erica Cameron-Taylor.

Associate Professor Brett Graham’s research at the University of Newcastle is aimed at understanding the complex relationships between pain and spinal cord signalling. “Thankfully, we’re coming into a time when the techniques we can use to study these connections and circuits are rapidly advancing. What we really want to do is identify the different types of sensory nerve cells in the spinal cord, work out how they’re connected and what that means for pain signalling. Along the way, we’ve developed a number of assays that allow us to test if novel compounds can disrupt spinal pain signalling” said Associate Professor Brett Graham.

CannaPacific ensures product quality along the entire supply chain. Extraction and manufacture are performed by Extractas Bioscience (formerly Tasmanian Alkaloids), a leading cGMP medicinal cannabis service provider and a global leader in the production of pharmaceutical ingredients from medicinal plants.

CannaPacific and the University of Newcastle are aiming for a long-term collaborative research partnership, including PhD students who will gain direct experience in the pharmaceutical drug development process.

CannaPacific is licenced & permitted by the Australian Government to cultivate and research medicinal cannabis. This includes an Office of Drug Control location undisclosed approved regional cultivation and research facility in Northern NSW. No cannabis plants are kept on-site at the University of Newcastle.

About CannaPacific:

CannaPacific is an Australian biotechnology company focused on the cannabinoid pharmaceutical sector. By combining advanced molecular breeding technology with a traditional approach to drug development CannaPacific seeks to build a global therapeutic offering with an initial focus on palliative care and post-traumatic stress disorder.

CannaPacific’s strategy is to attain a world-leading position in the field of cannabinoid science through the research, development and commercialisation of cannabinoid molecules as authorised pharmaceutical products.

About medicinal cannabis:

Governments at both Commonwealth and State and Territory levels have implemented legislative and policy change to allow the cultivation, manufacture, prescribing and dispensing of medicinal cannabis products for patients in Australia. https://www.tga.gov.au/medicinal-cannabis-guidance-documents

Human Endocannabinoid System: The human Endocannabinoid System is an ancient neuromodulatory system found in all vertebrates. It plays a role in a wide variety of functions and processes and it is this breadth of effect that results in cannabinoids in medicinal cannabis and having such a wide scope of activity across a multitude of symptoms.

cGMP: refers to Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations enforced by the TGA. cGMP’s provide for systems that assure proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities for therapeutic drugs.


Joshua R Dennis
Ph: +61 427 631 611

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