Avecho Biotechnology (ASX:AVE) has announced positive results for its Phase 2a study examining the effects of its topically applied CBD formulation on the symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA).
The study was run by the principal investigator, Dr Daniel Lewis, from the Daniel Lewis Rheumatology Centre. The co-investigator, Professor Iain McGregor, from the Lambert Initiative.
Hand OA is a common, painful, progressive and irreversible condition that significantly impairs hand strength and function. There are limited treatment options available and current therapies primarily involve symptom relief and preservation of function.
Systemic administration of CBD has shown promise in animal models of OA, however, topical therapeutics are of particular interest in diseases such as OA due to their targeted application and avoidance of first-pass metabolism.
Avecho said four-week treatment with its proprietary topical CBD formulation resulted in highly significant improvements in patient observed reductions in pain, increases in grip strength, improvements in hand functionality, self-reported stiffness of the fingers and self-reported anxiety.
Dr Daniel Lewis said, “There is an unmet need for effective treatment in this condition which has a significant impact on the quality of life. We are very encouraged by these results which will need to be confirmed with a longer placebo-controlled trial in a larger number of patients in due course. If further trials replicate the benefits seen in this initial trial then we believe this topical therapy will become a cornerstone therapy for the management of hand osteoarthritis.”
Avecho said has begun working with prescribing physicians to make the formulation available through compounding pharmacists.
Co-investigator Professor Iain McGregor said, “The available quality evidence for the use of CBD in pain is limited. Despite being a small trial, we had hoped this Study could see signs of a measurable impact on pain from this topical CBD formulation that would justify larger, placebo-controlled studies. The results have surpassed our expectations and clearly warrant further clinical exploration to tease out the specific effect of the CBD and an associated mechanism of action.”
Avecho CEO Dr Paul Gavin said, “We have already received commercial interest in a topical CBD formulation and are confident the data from this study will be of interest to potential licensees. The addition of topical cannabinoid products to our cannabinoid portfolio would be of immense value, not just for pain indications, but also in fields like dermatology.”
The company said it will now plan larger placebo-controlled studies in collaboration with the Lambert Initiative.