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Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals to Treat Life-Threatening Diseases with Novel Synthetic Cannabinoid-Derived Molecules

(September 14, 2017)

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals Inc. (EHP) today announced its mission to discover, develop and commercialize novel synthetic cannabinoid-derivative drug candidates to treat life-threatening diseases. Formed in 2017, the privately held company has brought together a core team of experts in pharmaceutical drug development and cannabinoid research to develop its strong, unique intellectual property to address a number of serious unmet medical needs.

EHP has acquired two families of cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) derived new chemical entities, and four related patents and patent applications. Two cannabinoid molecular backbones form the basis for the two families of compounds. Three recently granted patents and one pending patent associated with these molecules cover composition of matter relating to novel CBD and CBG derivatives, mechanisms of action, and their uses in multiple medical conditions associated with these mechanisms of action. These two families include over 20 novel molecules, with the potential to develop many more.  EHP is advancing the potential applications of these proprietary molecules across a range of human diseases including neurodegenerative, auto-immune, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases.

EHP acquired these two families of new chemical entities from VivaCell Biotechnology España S.L. (VivaCell), a world leader in cannabinoid science located in Córdoba, Spain. EHP also has a research agreement with VivaCell for the continuing provision of its scientific expertise in the development of these compounds.

The two drug families include EHP-101 and EHP-102 (also known in the published literature as VCE-004.8 and VCE-003.2 from their VivaCell origin), which are the lead compounds EHP is advancing for multiple sclerosis, scleroderma, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. EHP is currently completing the preclinical studies required to initiate human studies in 2018.

The EHP team is comprised of:

  • Avtar Dhillon, MD, Executive Chairman and President: life sciences entrepreneur with 20+ years’ experience building life science public companies through mergers and acquisitions, leading innovation in scientific, engineering and farming enterprises, and building dominant IP portfolios through partnering; raised over $500 million for life sciences ventures; negotiated major license agreements with partners such as Roche, Merck, Pfizer, and Novartis; on the board of the Cannabis Association of Canada; practiced family medicine for over 12 years.

  • Jim DeMesa, MD, CEO: a 28-year veteran of the life sciences industry with extensive experience in product development and clinical and regulatory management with multiple biotechnology companies. Developed multiple products through clinical stages, regulatory approval, and commercialization. 
  • Jill Broadfoot, CFO: over 25 years in healthcare accounting and finance roles and raised over a $1 billion; was past VP, US Corporate Controller, GW Pharmaceuticals, CFO, Vical Inc., and held senior finance roles at other US biotech/medical companies; past audit manager at Ernst & Young.

  • Eduardo Muñoz, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer: an expert in the mechanism of action of cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system as well as in the development of cannabinoid-based new chemical entities. Dr. Muñoz is also a scientific advisor to VivaCell.

  • Nancy Coulson, Vice President, Regulatory and Quality Affairs: nearly 30 years’ regulatory, clinical, and quality affairs experience with companies including Cordis (J&J), BMS, and Bausch & Lomb.

  • Mari Luz Bellido, PhD, Vice President, European Operations: extensive experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery of cannabinoids for therapeutic use. Dr. Bellido is also Managing Director of VivaCell.

  • Giovanni Appendino, PhD, Scientific Advisor: regarded as one of the world’s most influential thought leaders in cannabinoid research. He is Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Eastern Piedmont in Italy. Dr. Appendino authored more than 250 articles and 10 book chapters, and holds six patents (four related to cannabinoids).

  • See more detailed bios of the EHP team.
  • EHP’s board of directors consists of four individuals with extensive experience in life sciences company governance, management and clinical development, along with product development and commercialization.

"Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals has assembled an experienced team and acquired compelling, patented cannabinoid technology with unique mechanisms of action against many extremely challenging diseases," said Jim DeMesa, MD, CEO of EHP. “Our vision is to play a vital role in discovering, developing and commercializing pharmaceutical products that can provide profound medical benefits using synthetic cannabinoid products.”

Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals was founded by Emerald Health Sciences, which remains the predominant owner. EHP is aiming to complete a mezzanine financing in 2017 and take the company public via an initial public offering in 2018.

Join us on our journey to address life-threatening diseases through cannabinoid science.

About VivaCell Biotechnologies España

VivaCell Biotechnology España SL is a privately held research company focused on new non-psychotropic cannabinoids for the treatment of inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. It is a worldwide pioneer in the discovery and research of cannabidiol and cannabigerol chemical derivatives that improve the therapeutic properties of the natural cannabinoids. Additionally, VivaCell’s expertise includes research on hemp extracts (non-psychotropic cannabis varieties) such as CDE-001 to improve inflammatory skin conditions as atopic dermatitis. More information about the company is available here. VivaCell is majority owned by Emerald Health Research, which is part of the Emerald Health group.

About Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals seeks to achieve the potential medical benefits of its proprietary, synthetic cannabinoid-derivative drug candidates. The company has two families of new chemical entities based on CBD and CBG cannabinoids that are modified to affect additional validated receptors pertinent to targeted diseases. The first drug candidate, EHP-101 is focused on treating multiple sclerosis and scleroderma, the other, EHP-102, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The company is progressing on preclinical work with the intent to launch Phase I clinical studies, and undertake an IPO, in 2018. For more information, visit Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals is part of the Emerald Health group of companies, which is seeking to enhance health and well-being through diverse investments that advance the development of cannabis for pharmaceutical, botanical and nutraceutical applications.

For investor and media contacts:

[email protected]

To the extent statements contained in the following presentations are not descriptions of historical facts regarding Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals Inc. They should be considered “forward-looking statements,” as described in the private securities litigation reform act of 1995, that reflect management’s current beliefs and expectations. You can identify forward-looking statements by words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “goal,” “hope,” “hypothesis,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “strategy,” “will,” “would,” or the negative of those terms, and similar expressions that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes. Forward-looking statements contained in these presentations include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: (i) the success and timing of our product development activities and clinical trials; (ii) our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates; (iii) our plans to research, discover, evaluate and develop additional potential product, technology and business candidates and opportunities; (iv) our and our partners’ ability to develop, manufacture and commercialize our product candidates and to improve the manufacturing process; (v) the size and growth potential of the markets for our product candidates, and our ability to serve those markets; (vi) the rate and degree of acceptance of our product candidates; (vii) our ability to attract and retain key scientific or management personnel; (viii) the anticipated timing of clinical data availability; (ix) our ability to meet our milestones; (x) our expectations regarding our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection; (xi) the level of our corporate expenditures; (xii) the assessment of our technology by potential corporate partners; and (xiii) the impact of capital market conditions on us. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals’ investigational drug products have not been approved or cleared by the FDA. 

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