June 1, 2017 – Vancouver, BC: Today Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS, OTCQB: AQSZF) (“Aequus”) a specialty pharmaceutical company with expertise in drug delivery and clinical development, and the Centre For Drug Research and Development (“CDRD”), Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre, announced a broad research collaboration to establish pre-clinical safety and efficacy of select cannabinoid-based therapeutics targeting neurological movement disorders including epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
Aequus has initiated a research program of cannabinoid-based therapeutics targeting neurological disorders. In 2016, Health Canada provided patients in Canada the ability to access cannabis for medical purposes when recommended by their physician. There are insufficient data, however, for proper therapeutic treatment protocols regarding the proper dosage and frequency for patients dealing with a wide variety of symptoms and disease areas. Aequus recently published a survey that confirms the medical need for improved clinical trial data supporting safety and efficacy of medical cannabis, reliability of dose delivery systems, high quality data collection tracking real world clinical outcomes, physician education, and quality controlled ingredients.
The goal of the Aequus/CDRD partnership is to address many of these deficiencies. The preclinical studies, including in-vitro and in-vivo toxicology, pharmacology, and formulation optimization in relevant disease models, will be conducted at CDRD’s facilities in Vancouver, BC, pending Health Canada approvals. This initial project leverages CDRD’s expertise in pre-clinical development and target validation for new products, and demonstrates CDRD’s ongoing engagement with life sciences companies in the Canadian marketplace. Products advanced through the collaboration will be commercialized by Aequus.
Aequus intends to leverage its expertise in developing and commercializing regulated prescription therapeutics and will work with sophisticated third party partners like the CDRD to develop pharmaceutical grade products for patients seeking the use of optimized delivery versions of clinically validated formulations of medical cannabis.
"This is an exciting step as we advance toward our goal of providing patients and physicians with clinically validated cannabinoid containing treatments delivered in a more precise and optimized manner than inhaling or ingesting, the most common current methods of delivery,” said Doug Janzen. “We view the clinician community as being important stakeholders, and we are excited to work with a world class drug research and development organization like CDRD as we strive to provide the medical community with validated and improved alternatives to existing products. Together our two organizations have proven expertise in taking drugs from discovery and preclinical trials all the way through clinical trials to regulatory launch and commercial sales – a potent combination for advancing cannabinoid containing therapeutics for Neurologic Movement Disorders.”
Gordon McCauley, CDRD’s President and CEO commented, “Our partnership with Aequus is a great example of the work we do with biotech across the country. There is a clear unmet medical need in the area of medical cannabinoid research and development where CDRD and Aequus can collaborate and share their respective expertise that could lead to new cannabinoid therapeutics and a pathway to clinical trials, particularly in neurological movement disorders.”
About The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)
CDRD is Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre working in partnership with academia, industry, government and foundations. CDRD provides the specialized expertise and infrastructure to identify, validate and advance promising discoveries, and transform them into commercially viable investment opportunities for the private sector — and ultimately into new therapies for patients. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). www.cdrd.ca
About Aequus Pharmaceuticals
Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS, OTCQB: AQSZF) is a growing specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing high quality, differentiated products. Aequus’ development stage pipeline includes several products in neurology and psychiatry with a goal of addressing the need for improved medication adherence through enhanced delivery systems. Aequus intends to commercialize its internal programs in Canada alongside its current portfolio of marketed established medicines and will look to form strategic partnerships that would maximize the reach of its product candidates worldwide. Aequus plans to build on its Canadian commercial platform through the launch of additional products that are either created internally or brought in through an acquisition or license; remaining focused on highly specialized therapeutic areas. For further information, please visit www.aequuspharma.ca.