In an exclusive interview with The Fly, InMed Pharmaceuticals (INM) CEO Eric Adams talked about the company, ongoing clinical trials, COVID-related impacts and much more.
DEVELOPMENT COMING ALONG 'QUITE WELL': InMed Pharmaceuticals is focused on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of rare cannabinoids across both the pharmaceutical and health and wellness markets. The company is currently developing a cannabinoid synthesis manufacturing system called IntegraSyn to produce cost-effective, pharmaceutical-grade, bio-identical cannabinoids.
"IntegraSyn is one of the several technologies we have in-house here at InMed. We utilize a number of different approaches, including biosynthesis and chemical synthesis. IntegraSyn is kind of an integrated approach between those two to help manufacture certain kinds of cannabinoids. In order to decide which manufacturing approach is best, we need to understand a couple of things. Number 1, what's the structure of the target cannabinoid we want to make. Number 2, at what quality level we want to make it. Number 3, how much we want to manufacture. Then we can select from our portfolio of different technologies and decide which one is best applicable to our goals. IntegraSyn is one of these. Its development is coming along quite well. We expect to be making larger scale batches well within the next couple of weeks, " Adams explained to The Fly.
CLINICAL TRIALS: On the pharmaceutical side, the company is researching the therapeutic benefits of several rare cannabinoids. InMed is the first company to advance cannabinol, CBN, into a clinical trial. CBN is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in two of its pharmaceutical development programs, namely INM-755 cannabinol cream, which is in Phase 2 clinical development for epidermolysis bullosa, and INM-088 CBN eye drops in preclinical development for glaucoma.
"There's a big difference between the pharmaceutical drug development and the health and wellness space where we are a supplier of raw ingredients for other people to use in their products. As a raw material supplier, you're looking at potential revenues in the tens of millions of dollars annually. Maybe if you have a blockbuster, you're up into the hundreds of millions of dollars but that’s pretty rare. Pharmaceutical is something different. It takes much longer and it's much more capital intensive. But if you do have a product that has meaningful benefit, you can easily be in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in annual revenues is not uncommon. So, it takes longer but the payoff is much higher if you demonstrate benefit," Adams stated.
Discussing INM-755, the CEO explained that, "with INM-755, we are using the rare cannabinoid called cannabinol or CBN to treat the symptoms associated with a rare skin disease, Epidermolysis Bullosa. We are currently in Phase 2 studies. We are enrolling at a number of sites across Europe and looking to finish recruitment into that Phase 2 trial by the end of this year, by at which time we will have a good look at the data and determine where the best benefit for this product. That is going along quite well."
"INM-088 is again looking at the same rare cannabinoid, CBN, but this time as a potential treatment for eye disease, in particular glaucoma. We're still in preclinical phase, which means we're collecting all the information needed to seek approval to go into human clinical trials. It's a process that is ongoing; it's a pretty expensive and timely process. Our anticipation is that in a year's time, we will be filing that information seeking to initiate human trials," the executive told The Fly.
'EXCITING' OPPORTUNITIES: Looking out over the remainder of the year, InMed's CEO is "very excited" about the opportunity in the health and wellness sector. "Health and wellness sector is pretty exciting. If you think about where CBD is currently used, you will find all kinds of products. It was probably quite overhyped in terms of what it is capable of doing. But what we're starting to see is these rare cannabinoids that are not easily extracted from the plant have therapeutical potential in treating a number of different ailments. What we're doing is manufacturing at a very large scale in seeking to bring down the overall cost of these rare cannabinoids and provide them as raw materials to the health and wellness sector. We already launched two – CBC and CBT, and we're on the brink of launching two additional ones that have a lot more data behind them in terms of what their potential is: CBDV and THCV, both non-intoxicating rare cannabinoids that have a very unique profile from the more common cannabinoids that people know about, which are CBD and THC. We're very excited about that opportunity. One of the big milestones will growing that business over the course of this year. We're also continuing to build our patent portfolio."
COVID-RELATED IMPACT: Discussing COVID-related impacts with The Fly, Adams explained that InMed is "not immune from all the supply chain issues that have taken place across all industries. We're trying to work very closely with our suppliers and vendors to make sure we minimize any impact. There have been shipping delays."
NO AFFILIATION WITH MARIJUANA: "There's a perception that we're somehow associated with marijuana," InMed's CEO said. "We have no affiliation with the plant, we don't grow the plant, and never touched the plant or any of its extracts in anything we do. We're a pharmaceutical company that is using advanced technologies to manufacture this class of compounds called rare cannabinoids. It's more consistent and more reliable and we can still make these bioidentical to what the plant makes so you have that natural effect. We don't have any intoxicating cannabinoids in our portfolio. We're a biotech looking to use these strong understanding of cannabinoids and manufacturing knowhow to bring these products forward," the executive explained to The Fly.
"Meet the Company" is The Fly's recurring series of exclusive short interviews with Executive Officers to offer a deeper look inside the company.