CFN Media’s Exclusive Interview with Pascal Biosciences
November 8th, 2018
Exclusive, News, Top Story
The cannabis industry is projected to reach $75 billion by 2030, according to Cowen & Co., driven by the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis across a growing number of states. While many investors are familiar with cultivators and dispensaries, there could be an even greater opportunity on the medical side of the industry. Cannabinoids could displace blockbuster drugs, such as opioids, and provide breakthroughs in other areas.
CFN Media recently sat down with Pascal Biosciences Inc. (TSX-V: PAS) President & CEO Dr. Patrick W. Gray to discuss how the company is harnessing the power of cannabis to develop cancer therapeutics.
CFN Media: Your company hasn’t always been focused on cannabis. What led you to take a closer look at cannabis and discover the molecules that stimulate the immune system to destroy cancer cells?
Dr. Patrick W. Gray: “Our work at Pascal began with our sponsored research at the University of British Columbia. We have a proprietary method to search for compounds that can enhance the immune system, and a cannabinoid had the greatest activity. We have since analyzed nearly 400 cannabinoids–natural, synthetic, and endogenous—and we’ve identified even more potent structures that are currently being tested in preclinical immune-oncology studies. These discoveries about the anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids are novel and fit with Pascal’s goal to develop therapeutics for cancer.”
CFN Media: You recently announced the addition of a new cannabinoid program for the treatment of Glioblastoma. How does this program tie in to your immune surveillance program?
Dr. Patrick W. Gray: “I have known the inventor of this technology, Dr. Nephi Stella, for nearly ten years, and followed his work closely. When I saw his impressive results in a glioblastoma animal model, I was convinced this is a great program for Pascal. Glioblastoma is a terrible form of brain cancer, and I believe Dr. Stella’s cannabinoid-based product has great potential in treating this devastating disease. Furthermore, Dr. Stella will be a consultant for Pascal, and his 20 years of experience with cannabinoids will greatly aid our immune surveillance program. Dr. Stella has done pioneering research with cannabinoids, and he will bring that expertise to our programs.”
CFN Media: Is Pascal considering any partnerships for your cannabinoid programs?
Dr. Patrick W. Gray: “As you mentioned, there is great medical potential for cannabinoids, with a clear benefit for patients with pain, nausea, muscle spasms, epilepsy, and anxiety. However, most clinical studies are suggestive at best, and specific cannabinoids have generally not been associated with patient benefit. Our work is focused on identifying specific cannabinoids with potency for certain ailments. We believe our work will be of significant interest to potential partners, including both cannabis companies and pharmaceutical companies. The value of our programs will continue to increase as we progress, and we intend to engage potential partners when significant value is attained.”
CFN Media: You recently secured a DEA Schedule I license for cannabinoid development. Can you describe the process of securing that license and why it’s significant?
Dr. Patrick W. Gray: “Obtaining a DEA Schedule I license for Research was a critical step in further developing our immune surveillance program using cannabinoids. The process is quite rigorous. Yet, since we received our license, we have screened nearly 400 cannabis derived compounds, many of which are restricted, and have made significant progress in identifying therapeutic candidates.”
CFN Media: What are some of the key upcoming catalysts that shareholders can look forward to? Where do your clinical programs stand at this point in time?
Dr. Patrick W. Gray: “Our cannabinoid-based program for glioblastoma is expected to begin human clinical trials in 2019, a significant milestone for the company. In addition, our immune surveillance program is progressing nicely with some exciting discoveries. We will report our advancements in the scientific literature, at international conferences, and in press releases. Investors can expect updates on our programs in a timely fashion, because we have a lot of exciting information to share!”
CFN Media: Why should investors consider your stock?
Dr. Patrick W. Gray: “Pascal has an exciting pipeline developing cannabinoid therapeutics for cancer. Cannabinoid-based medicines are a fast-growing opportunity given the legalization of cannabis in Canada. The current competitive landscape for biotechnology companies developing cannabinoid therapeutics is small with diverse indications. Pascal stands out as one of the few companies targeting glioblastoma and, more broadly, cancer in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. Our utmost priority is to help patients suffering from life-threatening diseases, and we strongly believe that our current portfolio can make an impact on patient lives.”
CFN Media: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us.
About Pascal Biosciences Inc.
Pascal Biosciences Inc. (TSX-V:PAS) is a biotechnology company focused on advancing innovative approaches for the treatment of cancer including cannabinoid-based therapeutics and targeted therapies. The company’s leading cannabinoid portfolio comprises a small molecule therapeutic, ST-403, that is advancing into clinical trials for the treatment of glioblastoma, and an immuno-stimulatory molecule. In addition, Pascal Biosciences is developing a B-cell targeted antibody for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and an antibody for calcium channels expressed by the immune system. For more information, visit www.pascalbiosciences.com.
To learn more, visit: https://www.pascalbiosciences.com/.
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