“Ajulemic acid (AJA, CT-3, IP-751, JBT-101, anabasum) is a first-in-class, synthetic, orally active, cannabinoid-derived drug that preferentially binds to the CB2 receptor and is nonpsychoactive.
In preclinical studies, and in Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, AJA showed a favorable safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetic profile. It also demonstrated significant efficacy in preclinical models of inflammation and fibrosis. It suppresses tissue scarring and stimulates endogenous eicosanoids that resolve chronic inflammation and fibrosis without causing immunosuppression.
AJA is currently being developed for use in 4 separate but related indications including systemic sclerosis (SSc), cystic fibrosis, dermatomyositis (DM), and systemic lupus erythematosus. Phase 2 clinical trials in the first 3 targets demonstrated that it is safe, is a potential treatment for these orphan diseases and appears to be a potent inflammation-resolving drug with a unique mechanism of action, distinct from the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and will be useful for treating a wide range of chronic inflammatory diseases.
It may be considered to be a disease-modifying drug unlike most NSAIDs that only provide symptomatic relief. AJA is currently being evaluated in 24-month open-label extension studies in SSc and in skin-predominant DM. A Phase 3 multicenter trial to demonstrate safety and efficacy in SSc has recently been initiated.”
“Phytocannabinoids modulate inflammatory responses by regulating the production of cytokines in several experimental models of inflammation.
Cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptor activation was shown to reduce the production of the monocyte chemotactic protein-2 (MCP-2) chemokine in polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly-(I:C)]-stimulated human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cells, an in vitro model of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).
We investigated if non-psychotropic cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) produced similar effects in this experimental model of ACD.
This is the first demonstration of the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD in an experimental model of ACD.”
“CB2 receptors up-regulate in reactive microglia in the spinal cord of TDP-43(A315T) transgenic mice, an experimental model of ALS.
To determine whether such up-regulation may be pharmacologically exploited, we investigated different treatments modulating the CB2 receptor function.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:
Our study shows an important role for glial CB2 receptors in limiting the progression of the pathological phenotype in TDP-43(A315T) transgenic mice. Such benefits derived apparently from the activation of CB2 receptors concentrated in astrocytes and reactive microglia located in spinal dorsal and ventral horns.”
“Recent data suggest that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may be involved in the glial response in different types of brain injury. Both acute and chronic insults seem to trigger a shift in the pattern of expression of some elements of this system from neuronal to glial. Specifically, data obtained in human brain tissue sections from Alzheimer’s disease patients showed that the expression of cannabinoid receptors of the CB(2) type is induced in activated microglial cells while fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) expression is increased in reactive astrocytes. The present study was designed to determine the time-course of the shift from neuronal to glial induction in the expression of these proteins in Down‘s syndrome, sometimes referred to as a human model of Alzheimer-like beta-amyloid (Abeta) deposition. Here we present immunohistochemical evidence that both CB(2) receptors and FAAH enzyme are induced in Abeta plaque-associated microglia and astroglia, respectively, in Down‘s syndrome. These results suggest that the induction of these elements of the ECS contributes to, or is a result of, amyloid deposition and subsequent plaque formation. In addition, they confirm a striking differential pattern of distribution of FAAH and CB(2) receptors.”
“Activation of CB1 receptors, produces anticonvulsant effect accompanied by memory disturbance both in animal seizure tests and in patients with epilepsy.
Few reports considered the role of CB2 receptor on seizure susceptibility and cognitive functions. The aim of the present study was to explore the effect of a selective CB2 receptor agonist β-caryophyllene (BCP) in models of seizures and cognition in mice.
Our results suggest that the CB2 receptor agonists might be clinically useful as an adjunct treatment against seizure spread and status epilepticus and concomitant oxidative stress, neurotoxicity and cognitive impairments.”
“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by a combination of inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes variously dominant in different stages of the disease. Thus, immunosuppression is the goal standard for the inflammatory stage, and novel remyelination therapies are pursued to restore lost function.
Cannabinoids such as 9Δ-THC and CBD are multi-target compounds already introduced in the clinical practice for multiple sclerosis (MS). Semisynthetic cannabinoids are designed to improve bioactivities and druggability of their natural precursors. VCE-004.8, an aminoquinone derivative of cannabidiol (CBD), is a dual PPARγ and CB2agonist with potent anti-inflammatory activity.
Activation of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) can have a beneficial role in MS by modulating the immune response and favoring neuroprotection and axonal regeneration.
We investigated the effects of VCE-004.8 on the HIF pathway in different cell types.
This study provides new significant insights about the potential role of VCE-004.8 for MS treatment by ameliorating neuroinflammation and demyelination.”
“Endocannabinoid system plays an important role in pathophysiologic processes such as immune functions and impacts on disease severity.
Our previous study showed that cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) affects clinical course of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. In this study, we investigated the role of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) in RSV immunopathology and its therapeutic potential in mice model.
This study and our previous finding indicated that endocannabinoid signaling regulates the inflammatory response to RSV infection, and is a potential therapeutic candidate for alleviation of RSV-associated immunopathology.”
“Decades of research has provided evidence for the role of the endocannabinoid system in human health and disease. This versatile system, consisting of two receptors (CB1 and CB2), their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), and metabolic enzymes has been implicated in a wide variety of disease states, ranging from neurological disorders to cancer.
CB2 has gained much interest for its beneficial immunomodulatory role that can be obtained without eliciting psychotropic effects through CB1. Recent studies have shed light on a protective role of CB2 in cardiovascular disease, an ailment which currently takes more lives each year in Western countries than any other disease or injury.
By use of CB2 knockout mice and CB2-selective ligands, knowledge of how CB2 signaling affects atherosclerosis and ischemia has been acquired, providing a major stepping stone between basic science and translational clinical research.
Here, we summarize the current understanding of the endocannabinoid system in human pathologies and provide a review of the results from preclinical studies examining its function in cardiovascular disease, with a particular emphasis on possible CB2-targeted therapeutic interventions to alleviate atherosclerosis.”
“Researchers suggest that THC and other cannabinoids, which are active at CB2, the cannabinoid receptor expressed on immune cells, may be valuable in treating atherosclerosis.” https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/787468
“We have investigated the endocannabinoid system in the motor cortex of motor neuron disease (MND) patients.
We have confirmed that CB2 receptors are elevated in the motor cortex of MND patients associated with the reactive gliosis. This phenomenon is previous to neuronal losses. We also found CB2 receptors in cortical and spinal motor neurons.
These observations support that targeting this receptor may serve for developing neuroprotective therapies in MNDs.”
“Sepsis is a clinical condition resulting from a dysregulated immune response to an infection that leads to organ dysfunction. Despite numerous efforts to optimize treatment, sepsis remains to be the main cause of death in most intensive care units.
The endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in inflammation. Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) activation is immunosuppressive, which might be beneficial during the hyper-inflammatory phase of sepsis.
Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is a non-psychoactive natural cannabinoid (phytocannabinoid) found in Cannabis sativa and in essential oils of spices and food plants, that acts as a selective agonist of CB2R.
We propose BCP administration as novel treatment to reduce hyper-inflammation in human sepsis.”