Renew Biopharma Partners with Indiana University Gill Center on Drug Discovery Program Using Cannabinoids
10 January 2018 - - San Diego, California-based synthetic biology company Renew Biopharma is collaborating with Dr. Ken Mackie from the Indiana University (Bloomington) Gill Center for Biomolecular Science to help screen and develop human therapeutics using Renew's natural and novel cannabinoid molecules in a pre-clinical drug discovery programme, the company said.
The collaboration could lead to a new class of drugs to replace opioids and help fight the national opioid epidemic.
The program will explore the efficacy of numerous molecules for medications across a wide variety of possible indications, from pain management to epilepsy and various neurodegenerative diseases.
Renew's microbial biosynthetic platform can produce natural and novel cannabinoid molecules in industrial microorganisms, including microalgae, a single-cell plant suspended in liquid.
Renew also brings intellectual property and unique expertise to the collaboration. The company has been assigned or has licenses for more than 110 issued patents to produce cannabinoids in microalgae.
A particular focus of Mackie's team is cannabinoid receptors, the cellular receptors responsible for most of the psychoactive and therapeutic actions of Cannabis.
His group uses a range of techniques, including electrophysiological, molecular biology, immunological, and imaging, to better understand how cannabinoid receptors signal and how their signaling interact with other cellular processes.
The team is involved in pre-clinical and clinical drug discovery as cannabinoids have an effect on processes as diverse as memory, analgesia, anxiety, schizophrenia, and obesity.
Renew has also appointed Mackie as a member of its scientific advisory board, effective immediately.
Renew Biopharma is focused on creating a pipeline of 100% pure, uncontaminated, and non-psychoactive cannabinoids in quantities large enough to enable human therapeutic breakthroughs and improve human health globally. The company relies on molecular biology and pathway engineering instead of using agriculturally-grown, energy-intensive Cannabis plants.
The Gill Center, consisting of five Gill chairs and their research labs, was established to advance the understanding of complex biological processes and to train the next-generation of neuroscientists. It.