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  Pharmos Close To Stroke Compound
Posted by FoM on March 26, 2001 at 19:02:31 PT
By David Pilling, Pharmaceuticals Correspondent 
Source: Financial Times 

medical Pharmos, an Israeli biotechnology company, is on the verge of identifying a lead compound that it hopes to develop for stroke in an effort to broaden its pipeline.

Like dexanabinol, a late-stage brain trauma drug on which most of the company's prospects are riding, the new compound mimics the active ingredient of cannabis. The drug is designed to have cannabis's therapeutic, but not its hallucinatory, effect.

Haim Aviv, chairman and chief executive, stressed that more animal testing was needed before a definite decision to proceed.

Mr Aviv rejected the notion that Pharmos was a "one pony show" entirely dependent on its brain trauma drug. This year, dexanabinol entered Phase III trials, the final leg before regulatory submission. The company will spend much of its $26m cash pile taking the compound that far.

Mr Aviv said Pharmos was exploring the use of other cannabinoid molecules in multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain. It had also taken two ophthalmic products to market. These were being sold by Bausch & Lomb and could eventually net Pharmos $20m in annual revenue.

The molecule identified for stroke was "five to 10 times more powerful" than the drug for brain trauma, he said.

Despite Mr Aviv's assurances, the company's perceived reliance on its head trauma drug - which would be the first to treat the condition - has not helped the share price.

Shares, listed on Nasdaq, rode the high-tech wave to a peak of $15 early last year, before crashing back to $17/16. They closed on Friday at 113/16.

Robert Cook, financial officer, said Pharmos was predominantly owned by retail investors, about three-quarters of them in the US, and had been bought heavily by momentum traders. They had sold when the market turned down.

Results of the placebo-controlled trial for dexanabinol will be unblinded in 2003. The drug will be tested on 900 people in Europe and the US, mainly on victims of traffic and riding accidents.

One patient, run over by a bus during a February terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, is understood to have been enrolled in the trial, although the company refused to comment. The patient could have received either placebo or drug.

Dexanabinol must be injected within six hours of an accident. In Phase II trials, it accelerated recovery from trauma, although the sample was too small to be statistically significant.

Brain trauma is one of the main causes of death and injury of young adults. Pharmos estimates the market to be worth at least $500m.

Source: Financial Times (UK)
Author: David Pilling, Pharmaceuticals Correspondent
Published: March 26, 2001
Address: 1 Southwark Bridge, London, SE1 9HL, UK
Copyright: The Financial Times Limited 2001
Fax: +44 171 873 3922

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Comment #4 posted by cannabis man on March 27, 2001 at 19:10:05 PT
if president bushs daughter smokes pot why cant we. theres nothing wrong with it god brought it to earth obvousily for a reason. LEGALIZE IT. there would be more peace than greed. why dont they just legalize it instead of a medical purpose they imoprove of alcohol and cigarets whats the diffence. later cannnabis man

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #3 posted by MegaStoner on March 27, 2001 at 05:15:29 PT
by the way
I forgot to mention that I have never owned any stocks,and I
know very little about the stock market. The truth is,I'm a couple
of hundred bucks away from pushing a shopping cart around town.
I cant even afford to pay attention. So dont come whining to me
if you lose your ass.A better,more secure investment may turn out
to be in the SWAT team outfitter companies,or rubber bullet/flash bang
grenade/tear gas manufacturers.

If your lucky,you might get in on the ground floor of fake Marijuana producers
like Pharmos,but then you might have nightmares thinking about animal
tests for head trauma cannaboidals.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by MegaStoner on March 27, 2001 at 05:00:14 PT
inside tip
Hey,,,If ya want to know what some of the hot investments
will be,,well here's what I think...

I think the smart money will be in "treatment providers".This could
include the health care industry,and I'll bet you that the prison corporations
are lining up to cash in on the treatment bonanza that will be fueled by
drug war funds that will be reluctantly earmarked for "treatment".
Or if you want a lucrative and strange carreer,then take some sort of
classes,or corespondent course that will qualify you as a Treatment Specialist
of some sort. I'll betchya there will be plenty of job openings in the field,heck,
they might not even ask to see a degree,and with any luck,there will be no
drug test.

Get ready for a bizarre century.It's gonna be a dilly!

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by sm247 on March 27, 2001 at 04:14:58 PT
Ok lets re-invent the wheel. GOD gave us the plant why does MAN have to screw with it??? MAN has screwed up everything else in this world why not.

Of course I noticed the part where the MONEY came into it.

[ Post Comment ]

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