Medlab Clinical (ASX: MDC) has claimed it has received positive feedback from doctors prescribing its cannabis-based medicine NanaBis for the pain management of cancer patients.
The Australian medical life sciences company today reported that patient recruitment was currently underway for an advanced clinical trial of the drug, which has already been approved under the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Special Access Scheme for supply to medical practitioners for use with patients suffering cancer pain.
According to Medlab, doctors who have been prescribing NanaBis have said it is proving effective in decreasing reliance on opioids to manage pain, as well as in its speed of action.
The medicine is delivered through Medlab’s nano-particle spray, NanoCelle, to speed absorption into the bloodstream.
Medlab has developed two cannabis-based medicines with differing cannabis formulations – NanaBis, for the treatment of chronic cancer pain, and NanaBidial, for patients suffering from effects of chemotherapy.
New study refutes pain management claims
Medlab’s announcement coincides with a new study published recently in peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet, which has refuted claims that cannabis is just as beneficial as opioids for chronic (non-cancer) pain.
The four-year study, funded by the Australian Government and the National Health and Medical Research Council, found that participants who used cannabis had a greater pain severity score and pain interference score, which measures how pain affects sleep, daily living, working ability and social interaction.
They also had lower pain self-efficacy scores, which is the extent a person believes they can complete daily activities despite their pain, and suffered higher levels of anxiety in general.
The study also found no evidence that cannabis use reduced the prescribed use of opioids, nor did it increase rates of opioid discontinuation.
However, Medlab claims its work differs from this research, as it is focused on standardising and validating CBD and THC blends derived from cannabis.
The company also believes the recent publication serves to highlight the need for clinical trials.
“We still have a long way to go with collecting more feedback and progressing our clinical trial but out commitment to the integrity of this medical process makes Medlab distinctive in this area,” Medlab managing director Dr Sean Hall said.
He added that the feedback from prescribing doctors validated the chemistry makeup of NanaBis, which is distinct from hemp or medicinal cannabis.