Algorae Pharmaceuticals adds cannabinoids storage to medical study plans

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By Colin Hay - 
Algorae Pharmaceuticals ASX 1AI HL Pharma cannabinoids storage medical study

Melbourne-headquartered Algorae Pharmaceuticals (ASX: 1AI) has executed an agreement with HL Pharma which will help support its expansion plans and the development of a range of novel treatments for conditions with unmet medical needs.

The agreement covers the importation and warehousing of Algorae-owned cannabinoids and other compounds for distribution to its research partners.

This will initially focus on a range of under-studied alternative cannabinoids (not CBD or THC) for research in a range of medical indications either alone or in combination with other pharmaceutical compounds.

Algorae will look to integrate additional cannabinoids into existing programs being undertaken by Algorae’s research partners.

Academic collaborations underway

The new agreement supports the progression of a range of current academic collaborations in which Algorae is participating in for the development of novel drug candidates.

The company is working with La Trobe University and Monash University to undertake an extensive range of pre-clinical studies to further assess the company’s cannabinoid-based combination drug candidates, known as AI-116 and AI-168.

These two developments target dementia and cardiovascular disease respectively and are being compared to existing commercial therapeutics to establish a preliminary basis for economic potential.

Monash pre-clinical studies

In November, Algorae signed a research agreement with Monash to undertake an extensive range of pre-clinical studies to further assess the company’s drug, AI-168, in various cardiovascular models.

AI-168 is a novel combination drug candidate made up of a cannabinoid and an off-patent pharmaceutical ingredient. It is being studied as a potential treatment for cardiovascular disease, including hypertension.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) CVDs are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year.

CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease and other conditions.

Under the Monash collaboration, a suite of state-of-the-art experimental techniques will be utilised and these are expected to provide an understanding of the mechanism of action of AI-168 across a range of cardiovascular diseases.

Deliverables to guide next steps

The pre-clinical studies are being led by principal investigator, Dr Kristen Bubb, a senior research fellow at the Victorian Heart Institute located at Monash University.

Algorae has filed a provisional patent application over AI-168. Results from the studies are anticipated in multiple deliverable time frames over a period of approximately 12 months and will help guide the next steps in the R&D program for AI-168.

To complement and build up its R&D drug development project base, Algorae is part way through the development of an artificial intelligence (AI) platform, with the under-studied cannabinoids being utilised to enhance its predictive capabilities.

AI technology studies

In collaboration with the University of NSW’s (UNSW) Data Science Hub (uDASH), Algorae has aggregated a multi-disciplinary team of scientists from the UNSW AI Institute to advance data-driven artificial intelligence and machine learning methodologies.

AlgoraeOS is being designed to interpret pre-clinical, clinical, chemical, and biological data sets at an enormous scale to provide Algorae with predictive insights into the company’s pipeline of prospective drug candidates.

The AlgoraeOS AI platform will encompass general medicine capabilities and also have the additional benefit of encompassing specialisation in cannabinoid and cannabinoid combination drug targets.