Cannabis-focused biotech Zelda expands partnership with Curtin

Wednesday, 07 March, 2018

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Zelda Therapeutics, an Australian-listed biotech focused on medical cannabis, has expanded its pancreatic cancer research collaboration agreement with Curtin University.

This expansion will focus on in vivo animal studies to investigate the effect of a range of Zelda’s formulations in combination with existing chemotherapy agents Abraxane and Gemcitabine.

The treatment protocols in this study will closely mirror typical standard of care protocols utilised by oncologists in treating patients with pancreatic cancer. Zelda expects the results from these studies to generate highly relevant data for potential future human clinical trials. 

There is a growing body of evidence that whole plant cannabinoid extracts can impede cancer growth and potentially render the tumour more responsive to chemotherapeutic agents, the company said in a statement.

Pancreatic cancer is the 12th most common cancer globally, with over 330,000 diagnoses in 2012, according to Pancreatic Cancer World Research Fund International. With a very low five-year survival rate, the pancreatic cancer market will greatly benefit from further research and development using novel approaches, the statement said.

“The data to be generated by this new program has the potential to open new avenues of treatment for a cancer with very low survival rates,” said Executive Chairman Harry Karelis. “We look forward to results being generated over coming months and progressing the body of knowledge in this important field.”

Professor Marco Falasca, head of the Metabolic Signalling Group at Curtin University, added, “The expanded collaboration with Zelda is a great opportunity to provide scientific validation to the use of cannabis in combination with chemotherapy agents in cancer treatment.”

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