Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells found in bone marrow and it constitutes 1 percent of total cancer incidence worldwide. The disease is responsible for 2 percent of total cancer-related deaths worldwide.
OWC conducted pre-clinical studies at Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv on multiple myeloma (MM) cell lines and CD138+ MM cells isolated from patients. These studies showed that the combination of CBD/THC at certain ratios had synergistic cytotoxic activity on these cell lines. This combined effect of the compounds was significantly higher compared to CBD or THC alone.
CBD/THC decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and induced apoptosis by activating caspases 8, caspase 3 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase. In addition, the combination of CBD and THC increased the expression level of beclin-1 and light chain 3-II form proteins indicating activation of autophagy.
Furthermore, the combination of CBD/THC together with bortezomib, carfilzomib, dexamethasone and doxorubicin increased MM cell death significantly as compared to each of these drugs or CBD/THC alone.
The company has also shown that a combination of CBD and THC was able to decrease the survival of cancerous cells in an in vitro mouse model and had a synergistic effect with known anti-MM drugs. These pre-clinical studies provided a rationale for further development of a CBD/THC combination therapy for treating patients with MM.
Subject to achieving research milestones, the company will submit an application to the FDA for an orphan disease designation