Perth-based medical cannabis company AusCann Group Holdings Limited has announced that it is developing a new clinical trial that will evaluate how well cannabis helps people manage the symptoms of a spinal cord injury.
The global market for spinal cord injury treatments is currently valued at over $US6 billion (roughly $AU8.16 billion). An estimated 20,800 Australians live with a spinal cord injury, which can cause loss of movement and sensation, lack of bladder and bowel control, lack of hand function, and chronic pain. An estimated 70% of people with a spinal cord injury live with chronic pain for more than six months.
According to AusCann, medical cannabis has been shown to benefit people with spinal cord injuries who experience spasticity, sleeplessness, anxiety, and pain. The company’s new trial will look at these symptoms specifically.
AusCann’s new trial is currently in the design phase, where it is being overseen by renowned pain specialist Dr Marc Russo. AusCann says its medical advisory board (including Dr Russo) have seen the positive impacts of medical cannabis in other research.
"The company’s key medical advisors have seen some encouraging benefits in patients with spinal cord injury after use of the company’s Neuvis THC/CBD oral capsule"
The new clinical trial is part of several new AusCann ventures. The company is also working on registering DermaCann (a cannabinoid-based medicine for dogs that was the subject of a recent clinical trial) and on developing new cannabis-based medications for people. AusCann also merged with canine-focused medical cannabis company CannPal.
AusCann expects to hand a submission for its new study on spinal cord injuries to a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) in early 2022. The study will begin after it has HREC approval.