Botanix News Hub
Welcome to our home for news – the latest headlines, all in one place. Click through to view a selection of our media coverage, industry news, videos and more.
Queensland researchers are studying a component of medicinal cannabis for its potential as a new antibiotic, capable of killing superbugs.
The big hope for scientists at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience is that synthetic cannabidiol, or CBD, the main non-psychoactive component of cannabis, could be developed into the first new class of antibiotics for drug-resistant bacteria in more than half a century.
The quest for new antibiotics is seen as crucial by infectious disease experts, with predictions that by 2050, drug-resistant infections could result in 10 million deaths a year unless alternate treatments are found.
Click through to read the full article on The Courier Mail here.
An important research project testing the targeted capabilities of our antimicrobial platform, conducted in collaboration with The University of Queensland, has been published in Communications Biology – a leading peer-reviewed journal by Nature Research.
The research article titled “The antimicrobial potential of cannabidiol” reveals the unique mechanism through which synthetic cannabidiol can kill the bacteria responsible for gonorrhoea, meningitis and legionnaires disease – a world first.
All research data generated is fully-owned by Botanix and the subject of several patent applications,and it culminates significant collaborations involving respected antimicrobial researchers from around the world. The lead author is Dr Mark Blaskovich, Director of the University of Queensland’s Centre for Superbug Solutions in the Institute for Molecular Science, and it is co-authored by Botanix Directors Matt Callahan and Dr Michael Thurn.
This is truly exciting for our antimicrobial platform. This new data demonstrates our potential to develop novel structural analogs of cannabinoids with increased antimicrobial activity providing a foundation for the development of a whole new class of antimicrobials.
The news comes as we are finalising data for our BTX 1801 Phase 2a clinical study out of Perth. We are proud to be leading a promising new chapter of evidence-based research and action to address antimicrobial resistance – a pressing priority for the largest health agencies in the world.
Oxford University is opening a new research institute dedicated to tackling resistance to antibiotics.
The university says this is one of the the biggest rising threats to global health, already causing 1.5 million deaths per year worldwide.
The institute will be funded by £100m donated by the Ineos chemical company.
Click through to read the full article on BBC here.
Synthetic cannabidiol, better known as CBD, has been shown for the first time to kill the bacteria responsible for gonorrhoea, meningitis and legionnaires disease.
The UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Associate Professor Mark Blaskovich said CBD – the main nonpsychoactive component of cannabis – can penetrate and kill a wide range of bacteria including Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhoea.
“This is the first time CBD has been shown to kill some types of Gram-negative bacteria. These bacteria have an extra outer membrane, an additional line of defence that makes it harder for antibiotics to penetrate,” Dr Blaskovich said.
In Australia, gonorrhoea is the second most common sexually-transmitted infection and there is no longer a single reliable antibiotic to treat it because the bacteria is particularly good at developing resistance.
The study also showed that CBD was widely effective against a much larger number of Gram-positive bacteria than previously known, including antibiotic-resistant pathogens such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) or ‘golden staph’.
Dr Blaskovich said cannabidiol was particularly good at breaking down biofilms—the slimy build-up of bacteria, such as dental plaque on the surface of teeth—which help bacteria such as MRSA survive antibiotic treatments.
Dr Blaskovich’s team at the Centre for Superbug Solutions mimicked a two-week patient treatment in laboratory models to see how fast the bacteria mutated to try to outwit CBD’s killing power.
“Cannabidiol showed a low tendency to cause resistance in bacteria even when we sped up potential development by increasing concentrations of the antibiotic during ‘treatment’.”
“We think that cannabidiol kills bacteria by bursting their outer cell membranes, but we don’t know yet exactly how it does that, and need to do further research.
The research team also discovered that chemical analogs – created by slightly changing CBD’s molecular structure—were also active against the bacteria.
“This is particularly exciting because there have been no new molecular classes of antibiotics for Gram-negative infections discovered and approved since the 1960s, and we can now consider designing new analogs of CBD within improved properties.”
Vince Ippolito, the President and Executive Chairman of Botanix, said the research showed vast potential for the development of effective treatments to fight the growing global threat of antibiotic resistance.
“Congratulations to Dr Blaskovich and his team for producing this significant body of research—the published data clearly establishes the potential of synthetic cannabinoids as antimicrobials,” Mr Ippolito said.
“Our Company is now primed to commercialise viable antimicrobial treatments which we hope will reach more patients in the near future. This is a major breakthrough that the world needs now.”
Dr Blaskovich said collaborating with Botanix has sped up the research, with Botanix contributing formulation expertise that has led to the discovery that how cannabidiol is delivered makes a huge difference in its effectiveness at killing bacteria.
The collaboration has enabled Botanix to progress a topical CBD formulation into clinical trials for decolonisation of MRSA before surgery.
“Those Phase 2a clinical results are expected early this year and we hope that this will pave the way forward for treatments for gonorrhoea, meningitis and legionnaires disease.
“Now we have established that cannabidiol is effective against these Gram-negative bacteria, we are looking at its mode of action, improving its activity and finding other similar molecules to open up the way for a new class of antibiotics.”
This research has been published in Communications Biology. See journal article HERE.
Video news release and b-roll package is available HERE.
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Superbugs were this week labelled as “the next great health crisis of our time” and there are a few ASX stocks seeking to address it.
Superbugs are bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites immune to conventional antibiotics and pharmaceuticals.
Yesterday, on the eve of World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week, Monash University has warned superbugs could kill 22,000 Australians annually by 2040.
Read the full story on Stockhead here.