More MS news articles for Feb 2002

Compounds From Pharmos' New Cannabis-like Platform Technology Selectively Bind to CB2 Receptors

Feb 25, 2002
PR Newswire - USA

Dr. Gad Riesenfeld, President and COO of Pharmos Corporation , presented at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference in New York last week and described progress by the Company in developing a new class of synthetic cannabis-mimetic ("cannabinoid") compounds that specifically bind to cannabinoid-2 (CB2) receptors that are expressed by immune and inflammatory cells. These "bicyclic" compounds lack the unwanted psychological and hypotensive effects of cannabis while maintaining other pharmacological characteristics of this family of compounds. Pharmos is investigating bicyclic dextrocannabinoid compounds as anti-inflammatory modulators of the immune system, potentially effective in autoimmune and neurological diseases. The development of the Company's proprietary bicyclic dextrocannabinoid library closely follows and complements Pharmos' successful "tricyclic" dextrocannabinoid platform. Progress on the pivotal Phase III trial of the tricyclic compound dexanabinol and other R&D programs was also provided during the presentation.

Dr. George Fink, Vice President of Research, commented, "The use of natural cannabinoids for medical/medicinal purposes have significant medical and regulatory limitations because they bind to the CB1 receptors that are located mainly in the nervous system, and thereby cause unwanted psychotropic and other side effects. Free of these limitations, our CB2-selective compounds offer novel and potentially effective therapeutic approaches to a wide range of debilitating autoimmune disorders as well as neurological diseases."

With the aid of computational and combinatorial chemistry, Pharmos has designed and synthesized a library of compounds that bind with high affinity and selectivity to the CB2 receptors. This selective binding is complemented by reduced affinity for the CB1 receptor that is responsible for triggering the unwanted effects of natural cannabis derivatives, primarily hypotension and psychomimetic effects. Because CB2 receptors are mainly expressed on cells of the immune system, the CB2 binding affinity of Pharmos' bicyclic compounds offers significant therapeutic potential in the treatment of immune and inflammatory disorders, including diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Pharmos' CB2 agonists proved highly effective in animal models of autoimmune disorders, including experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), the standard model for multiple sclerosis, and also demonstrated significant effectiveness as analgesics for noxious and neuropathic pain.

Pharmos Corporation discovers, develops and commercializes novel therapeutics to treat a range of neurological disorders associated with inflammatory processes, such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, neuropathic pain, Parkinson's disease and other CNS and peripheral neuro-inflammatory indications.

Statements made in this press release related to operational expectations of the Company and to the development and commercialization of the Company's pipeline products are forward-looking and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. Additional economic, competitive, governmental, technological, marketing and other factors identified in Pharmos' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission could affect such results.

Contact: U.S. - Gale T. Smith, +1-732-452-9556; or Israel - Irit Kopelov, 08-940-9679, both for Pharmos Corporation


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