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WIRE: Cannabinoid drug research takes off after shift in U.S. drug policy

PALM BEACH, Florida — Increased funding due to overall market momentum is serving to aid biotech and pharma companies within medicinal cannabis sector to delve deeper into the research and development of cannabinoid prodrug pharmaceutical solutions.

Biotech companies in the sector to watch include:  Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (OTCQB: VBIO), GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), INSYS Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: INSY) and NEMUS Bioscience, Inc. (OTCQB: NMUS).

Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (OTCQB: VBIO), a corporation dedicated to the development of cannabinoid prodrug pharmaceuticals, and to unlocking the power of cannabinoids for the treatment of serious neurological and inflammatory disorders, today announced that it is advancing its cannabosides pharmaceuticals for treatment of narcotic bowel syndrome, a severe form of opiate-induced abdominal pain.

Read the full Vitality Biopharma (VBIO) Press Release at

Every day more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed by US pharmacies, resulting in over 200 million opioid prescriptions dispensed annually.  Studies have reported that up to 81% of patients treated with opiates have functional bowel disorders, but these common symptoms may lead to underdiagnosis of opiate-induced severe abdominal pain. More than half (58%) of opiate users have reported chronic abdominal pain in independently-conducted clinical studies, and narcotic bowel syndrome is the most severe form of this disorder, where abdominal pain paradoxically increases despite continued administration of narcotics to treat the pain. When undiagnosed, patients or physicians continue to escalate dosages, which temporarily relieves pain, but leads to addiction and also worsens the abdominal pain – a vicious cycle.  Narcotic bowel syndrome has dire consequences for opiate users, as their quality-of-life has been reported to be worse than patients with quadriplegia.

The clinical use of cannabinoids for resolving pain and inflammation is well established, including in large (n=313) independently-conducted clinical studies of inflammatory bowel disease, where 84% of patients reported an improvement in abdominal pain. Vitality’s proprietary cannabosides enable the selective delivery of cannabinoids to the intestinal tract, enabling large concentrations of THC and CBD (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, respectively) to be delivered without any resulting psychoactivity.

In other sector related performances in yesterday’s market and recent developments of note:

GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH) close up slightly on Tuesday on just over 1/2 Million shares traded by the market close.  GW Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in discovering, developing, and commercializing cannabinoid prescription medicines

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of innovative transdermal synthetic cannabinoid treatments, earlier this month announced the enrollment of the first patients into the STAR 2 (Synthetic Transdermal Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Epilepsy) clinical trial, an open-label extension trial which allows patients who have completed  the STAR 1 clinical trial to receive treatment with ZYN002 CBD gel for up to 52 weeks.

INSYS Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: INSY) closed down slightly on Tuesday at $14.10 on just over 1/2 Million shares traded by the market close.  Insys Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company, develops and commercializes supportive care products. The company markets Subsys, a sublingual fentanyl spray for breakthrough cancer pain in opioid-tolerant cancer patients in the United States.

NEMUS Bioscience, Inc. (OTCQB: NMUS) announced that significant data concerning the IOP lowering effect of NB1111 and duration of action was presented at the 2016 AAPS National Meeting being held in Denver, Colorado by the company’s research and commercialization partner, the University of Mississippi.  The abstract, “Effect of single versus multiple day regimen of Δ9 -THC-valine-hemisuccinate (THCVHS) on the intra-ocular pressure (IOP) lowering activity in normotensive rabbits” (abstract # 30W0830), reports data comparing the Nemus prodrug of tetrahydrocannabinol (THCVHS) also known as NB1111, to established glaucoma therapies of Pilocarpine and Timolol, as well as standard Δ9 -THC in both emulsion and solid lipid nanoparticle (SLN) eye drops

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