Endosane Pharmaceuticals and the University of California Irvine agree to conduct a set of studies to investigate the efficacy of new compounds for the treatment of PTSD.
Endosane Pharmaceuticals, a Berlin, Germany based pharmaceutical company specializing in the systematic exploration and use of the endocannabinoid system for the treatment of neurological, neuropsychiatric, and psychiatric disorders, and the University of California Irvine (UCI) recently announced an agreement to investigate the efficacy of two innovative compounds for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through a series of preclinical studies. According to the press release (1), these studies will be conducted in the laboratory of the internationally renowned neuropharmacologist and leading endocannabinoid system researcher, Dr. Daniele Piomelli, Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the School of Medicine at UCI. The drug class being researched—so-called fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH)-inhibitors—was co-developed by him. Results from the research are expected as early as the first half of 2022.
“We are very pleased to be able to explore these compounds together with Prof. Piomelli at UCI,” said Max Narr, Managing Director of Endosane Pharmaceuticals. “We are very optimistic that the preclinical studies will provide a clear indication regarding efficacy. If this assumption is confirmed, we will aim to conduct a Phase I clinical trial within the next year.”
According to current research, PTSD is caused by an overload of the brain’s processing capacities for dealing with the negative memories created by the trauma, which can resurface in an uncontrolled manner. The currently available medications are primarily aimed at helping people cope with the symptoms they are experiencing, particularly anxiety, panic attacks, and sleep disorders.
The development of the new, synthetic compounds was based on various basic research studies in the field of memory research, which showed a connection between changes in the balance of the body’s endocannabinoid system and the ability to process memories. The results suggest that it is possible to influence the processing of trauma by targeting this system. Therefore, the new compounds would not primarily treat the visible symptoms of PTSD–such as anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia–but the root cause, which is the processing of negative memories.
“We see the endocannabinoid system, as with our active substance for the treatment of schizophrenia, as a modulator of the neurophysiological balance that is offering the possibility of addressing not only the visible symptoms, but the cause itself,” said Professor Dr. Leweke, Medical Director of Endosane Pharmaceuticals.
Researchers at Endosane Pharmaceuticals believe that the use of the endocannabinoid system would intervene much more “gently” in the neurophysiological structure of the patient than currently available drugs—which is a very important breakthrough with a significant chance of considerably reduced side effects.