Clinical-stage pharmaceutical company Incannex Healthcare (ASX: IHL) has engaged French organization Eurofins Scientific to manufacture its medicated chewable products designed to treat nicotine and opioid addiction disorders.
Marketed under the CannQuit label, the combined drug assets included granted patents and applications that were transferred to Incannex when it acquired APIRx Pharmaceuticals in August.
CannQuit Nicotine combines nicotine and cannabidiol (or CBD) in a medicated chewing gum.
CannQuit Opioid combines CBD and an off-patent prescription opioid antagonist, also in a medicated gum.
The products will be manufactured by Eurofins and used in clinical trials to assess the safety and effectiveness of the CannQuit range for smoking cessation and opioid addiction treatment.
Data collected on the quality and stability of each product during development and manufacturing will be key components of future regulatory packages, including with the US Food and Drug Administration.
Incannex chief scientific officer Dr Mark Bleackley said the CannQuit anti-addiction range is designed to work alongside established therapies.
“Opioid and nicotine addiction are a major burden on health systems around the world,” he said.
“CannQuit products are designed to improve established therapies for the treatment of addictions by adding CBD to reduce cravings and anxiety, which are critical. [components] to break the cycle of addiction.”
Fast and sustained delivery
The medicated chewing gums provide active ingredients directly in the oral mucosa, ensuring that the effects are achieved quickly and in a sustained way to reduce cravings.
CBD and the act of chewing it have been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety in people with addiction.
“We believe that the synergies between the pharmaceutical ingredients and the form of the product, as a sustained chewable, give CannQuit a strong potential to improve treatment results for people who are addicted to nicotine and opioids,” he said.
“We are excited to test the theories in clinical trials once the products have been manufactured by Eurofins.”
The main cause of death
Cigarette smoking remains a leading cause of preventable death in the United States, with a total economic cost of more than $300 billion annually.
This includes nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for addicted adults and more than $156 billion in lost productivity.
While nicotine chewing gum has become an accepted product worldwide, it has had limited success in helping people completely stop the habit.
By adding CBD in a patented combination, CannQuit-N is expected to improve the therapeutic results of nicotine-only gum.
“CBD nicotine replacement therapy has a solid preclinical basis that is encouraging [us] to further develop and investigate CannQuit-N in human clinical trials,” said Dr. Bleackley.
The opioid epidemic is reported to have reached critical levels in the United States.
Statistics show that fatal overdoses and opioid use disorder cost the nation more than $1 trillion in 2017.
Treatments for opioid use disorder total $64 billion per year and there have been no major new treatment solutions in recent decades.