Nuformix files first cannabinoid cocrystal patent
Progress at Nuformix, the pharma development company which uses co-crystal technology to unlock the therapeutic potential of approved small molecule drugs, continues apace with the arrival of a lung fibrosis specialist to the advisory board and a first patent filing under the agreement with Ebers Tech of Canada.
The appointment of Dr Muhunthan Thillai to Nuformix’s scientific advisory board reflects progress made with Nuformix’s NXP002 programme as a treatment for idiopathic lung fibrosis (IPF) as it finalises its clinical development plans. Dr Thillai is the lead clinician for the Cambridge Interstitial Lung Disease Unit, where he is also a consultant.
Nuformix managing director Dan Gooding said: “I’m delighted to announce Dr Thillai’s appointment as he is a unique individual. Muhunthan has a complete understanding of IPF patients, from those newly diagnosed to those receiving lung transplants at end stage and runs the UK’s second largest IPF patient clinic at Royal Papworth.
“His in-depth understanding of patients’ needs and the short-comings of existing therapies will enable Nuformix to identify how our NXP002 programme can offer greatest benefit for his patients.”
Dr Andy Richards CBE, chair of the Nuformix scientific advisory board, added of the appointment: “His dynamism coupled to his proximity to the Nuformix team in his role at Royal Papworth will facilitate real impact on NXP002 development.”
Meanwhile, Nuformix’s collaboration with Ebers Tech is proving productive. Ebers is a private Canadian cannabinoid development company backed by leaders from the financial sector with connections to major vertically integrated US cannabinoid players. Cannabis is entirely legal in Canada, where the healthcare proposition has advanced without the fussiness and conflictions of the UK regulatory landscape.
The first patent filing in relation to novel cannabinoid cocrystals follows the commencement of development activities under the previously announced ‘strategic cannabinoid agreement’. The novel cannabinoid cocrystal patent, announced this month, is one of many future offerings involving the repurposing drug technology for novel uses. It works by adding a small molecule which re-engineers - and improves - a drug's crystalline form.
Under the agreement, Ebers gained exclusive access to Nuformix’s existing cannabinoid IP and technology platforms to enable the development of differentiated cannabinoid products. This first resulting patent filing relates to novel forms of a naturally-occurring cannabinoid, which is the subject of growing scientific interest as its therapeutic promise becomes increasingly validated. The patented cannabinoid forms have immediate applications in both pharmaceutical and consumer products worldwide, which in due course, will generate further milestone payments, plus royalties to Nuformix of 20 per cent under the terms of the agreement.
Ebers director Nigel Little said: “"We're excited Nuformix have achieved this first patent filing for Ebers Tech. From a strategic perspective, Nuformix's proven track-record in securing worldwide patent protection for improved drug forms provides Ebers with an opportunity to generate high-value IP, identified as a limitation within the emerging cannabinoid market. This a key milestone in allowing Ebers to create and protect superior cannabinoid products for consumer product and therapeutic applications.”
"We're delighted to secure this opening cannabinoid IP filing," said Dr Gooding, "which serves as the first disclosable validation of the Ebers agreement. The number of patents filed is one of several key performance indicators for the collaboration and demonstrates the partnership and overall concept are well-founded. For Nuformix, this first patent filing creates a path to further income from Ebers. We will continue to inform the market as further patents are filed and milestones and royalties are paid in-line with the agreement."