Kalytera Therapeutics, Inc. (TSX: KALY) (OTC: KALTF), a specialty pharmaceutical company based in Novato, California, announced in late September a step forward in developing the first cannabinoid-derived pain treatment targeting alpha3 glycine receptors.
When activated in the spinal cord, the alpha3 glycine receptor blocks pain signals from being sent to the brain. Kalytera and its research partner, Beetlebung Pharma (BPL), are working to identify a compound of cannabidiol (CBD) to do this. No company has yet introduced an agent targeting this receptor.
Kalytera works with a new compound of CBD which is 40-fold more potent than desoxy-CBD, the prototypic alpha3 glycine receptor agonist. The new compound has no effect on the alpha1 glycine receptor, which may produce unwanted muscle weakness.
Typically, the pain-inducing molecule PGE2 shuts down the alpha3 glycine receptor pathway. Kalytera attaches naproxen to its cannabinoid, which detaches in the spinal cord and blocks the synthesis of PGE2. By combining these, Kalytera’s medication can potentially use the alpha3 glycine receptor pathway to treat pain.
Kalytera believes the potency and selectivity of the compound justify its advancement to human clinical testing as a potential substitute for opioids. Kalytera is preparing to evaluate it in animal models in advance of human clinical testing.
Kalytera has filed for patents in the U.S. and has an exclusive worldwide license from BPL, an Israeli-based pharmaceutical company focused on cannabinoid-based therapeutics.
“The objective … is to develop a potent, oral analgesic for…pain that will be safe…”, stated Robert Farrell, President and CEO of Kalytera, “…without the risks of addiction or respiratory suppression that exist with opioid analgesics. We have also found a way to make this compound water soluble, which will allow use in in-patient settings, such as childbirth, short surgical procedures, and post-operative pain care.”
The global pain management therapeutics market is projected to reach USD $83 billion by 2024, according to a 2016 report by Transparency Market Research. Current treatments for pain include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen for mild pain, and opioids such as morphine for severe pain.
Source Kalytera press release