$1.7M Grant Given to Move Therapy Targeting Cannabinoid Receptor into Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Patients

$1.7M Grant Given to Move Therapy Targeting Cannabinoid Receptor into Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Patients
NeuroTherapia, a Cleveland Clinic spin-off biotech company, has received a $1.7 million funding commitment from the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation to advance its lead drug candidate NTRX-07 — a selective cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor agonist that can be orally administered — toward human clinical trials. This therapy targets a cannabinoid receptor in the brain,  a new approach for treating Alzheimer's and other neurologic diseases. Cannabinoid receptors are the same ones that are targeted in medical marijuana therapy, but NTRX-07 is not a cannabis (marijuana) derivative. Immune cells, including microglia within the central nervous system (CNS), express CB2 receptors. (Microglia are a type of glial cell located throughout the brain and spinal cord that from part of the central nervous system and are the primary immune cells of that system, acting as the main inflammatory cell type in the brain.) NeuroTherapia reports that CB2 receptors on microglia, when activated, can modulate immune cell migration and cytokine release, thereby decreasing pro-inflammatory responses, and that the ideal therapeutic candidate will have high affinity for the CB2 receptor while avoiding the adverse psychotropic effects (i.e., getting high) that accompany cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor-based therapies. NTRX-07 is also able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, providing for high expression levels in the CNS. Consequently, CB2 receptors have become the subject of research as a potential therapeutic target to treat various neuro-inflammatory disorders. NTRX-07, developed as a potent and selective CB2 receptor agonist that can be orally administered, has shown capacity to lessen neuroinflammation in preclinical disease models, thereby protecting neurons from dam
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