epm301 Dr. Mechoulam
dr Raphael Mechoulam is one of the world’s best-known doctors, particularly in the world of cannabis medicine.
He has earned the nicknames “Father of THC” and “Father of Cannabis Research” for his fame for discovering and isolating tetrahydrocannabinol. Because of his groundbreaking discoveries, he helped start the medical cannabis revolution while helping thousands of people around the world. He has had significant successes in recent years, with one of the most recent being just last year.
dr Mechoulam’s latest discovery is called EPM301, or cannabidiolic acid methyl ester, also known as CBDa. EPM stands for Endless Potential Molecules and there are currently around 14 patented molecules undergoing human testing under US FDA guidelines.
The first targets of EPM are psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which are notoriously difficult to treat.
What is EPM301?
THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids are considered secondary compounds in the cannabis plant because they are only produced after the primary acids have been decarboxylated. On the other hand, EPM301 can be easily reproduced and has significant potential to treat numerous inflammatory diseases.
dr Mechoulam introduced it in 2019, but at the time it couldn’t be used in a pharmaceutical setting because it was inherently unstable, so he worked with EPM to find a way to make it more stable.
Swisa told Israel21c.org that the cannabinoids found in cannabis products today are only found in the dried cannabis flowers, while the living plant is where you can find the acids that are precursors to these cannabinoids. Cannabinoid acids themselves are more potent and just as promising as conventional medicine, although they break down easily when exposed to heat because they are so unstable.
“EPM asked, is it possible to produce cannabinoid acids in the lab in a way that is stable and suitable for prescription drug development? That’s the main difference between EPM and what’s happening in the market today,” Swisa said.
“It is much smarter to use synthetic molecules because they are very reproducible and because making small molecules would be cheaper than making plants. You can achieve scalability, reproducibility and robustness,” said Prof Dan Peer, Director of the Laboratory of Precision Nano Medicine at Tel Aviv University, who is also a member of the EPM Scientific Advisory Board.
Peer announced excellent results from a study of EPM301 in the treatment of IBD during the International Cannabis Conference held practically in June 2021 in Israel. “My lab has been investigating new approaches to treating inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,” he told Israel21c. “I’m a very skeptical guy. Normally, molecules don’t work at the animal level, let alone the clinical level,” he said.
“But when Raphael Mechoulam approached me four years ago to review some molecules he was synthesizing, we found that one of them – EPM301 – had unique super anti-inflammatory properties,” Peer said. “It looks very safe in animal models and is much better than the steroids, which are the gold standard treatment for flare-ups. This could change the landscape for anti-inflammatory drugs.”
Forbes shares more about the achievements of Dr. Mechoulam and Reshef Swisa, CEOs of EPM.
“EPM has developed a method to work with the original substances of cannabis,” says Dr. Mechoulam. “So while everyone is debating THC and CBD, these cannabinoids are actually a secondary substance; they only appear later in the system.”
“Originally, there’s an acid that’s found in the plant, and those acids are the mysterious worlds of compounds that are far more potent than cannabinoids,” he says. As for the discovery of Dr. What makes Mechoulam significant is that while cannabidiolic acids were known before, they could not be used by the pharmaceutical industry. Now they have found a way to modify the acids so that they are sufficiently stabilized to be used for pharmaceutical purposes.
“We took a cannabidiolic acid and stabilized it through a simple chemical process called esterification; then the connection is stable,” says Swisa.
“We desperately need new drugs for multiple diseases, and some of the drugs that are available may be pretty good, but they end up causing side effects,” said the Dr. “Today we have two groups of compounds that need to be replaced: these are steroids and opioids. We believe cannabis has the ability to introduce replacements to these families.”
Since EPM is patented, it proves that cannabinoids can be used as an effective substitute for opioids and steroids, especially when patients need to break dependency on prescription drugs. “We’re not just comparing our compound to cannabinoids, but to the existing drugs that are used today,” said the Dr. and one is a biological drug. And in both we were able to show that the activity of our connection is very similar to that of our joint.”
“I sincerely hope that one day within the next few years we will have a cannabidiolic acid derivative on the market alongside CBD itself.” He also stressed the importance of regulating and classifying medicines to reduce the risk of side effects. “Companies should be careful when taking active ingredients and advertising therapeutics. They have to do it in accordance with the regulation to create consistency in the language… because people confuse recreational use with medicinal use and don’t necessarily look for a specific indication with a specific dosage,” he said.
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