Avicanna Announces the Award of Two Canadian Government NSERC Grants

Published: July 27, 2020

Avicanna Announces the Award of Two Canadian Government NSERC Grants

Avicanna Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of plant-derived cannabinoid-based products, is pleased to announce that the Company’s research collaborators have received two independent peer-reviewed grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The NSERC Alliance grants will be used to expand the investigators’ collaborative research with Avicanna.

For the past three years, Dr. Christine Allen’s research group (CARG) in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto has supported the development and optimization of Avicanna’s cannabinoid-based products including commercial cosmetics (Pura H&W) and medical cannabis (Rho Phyto) product lines and the pharmaceutical pipeline that is currently under clinical investigation.  Dr. Allen will now leverage a recent MITACS award in addition to this NSERC Alliance grant in collaboration with Avicanna to develop a cannabinoid-based formulation for treatment of COVID-19 related lung inflammation.

A second NSERC Alliance grant was awarded to Dr. Jibran Khokhar, Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph, who has an extensive track-record in behavioural pharmacology and neuroscience. Avicanna’s research program with Dr. Khokhar focuses on evaluating a variety of cannabinoids in several preclinical models of human psychiatric conditions including mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. The NSERC grant was awarded to evaluate the neurobiological underpinnings of cannabis toxicosis in a preclinical model, and test the potential efficacy of Avicanna’s naturally-derived cannabinoids and formulations in the treatment of cannabis-induced toxicosis. With the recent changes in the Canadian regulations for Cannabis 2.0 allowing for cannabinoid edibles and vapes, there is concern around an increased risk for adverse events arising from accidental high-dose cannabis ingestion. Thus, this two-year project will determine the behavioural and neural correlations of cannabis-induced toxicosis and the effects of cannabinoids for counteracting cannabis-induced toxicosis.

Dr Jibran Khokhar, commented, “This research is extremely timely with the new Cannabis 2.0 regulations and the increased risk for cannabis-induced toxicosis. I am thankful to NSERC and Avicanna for support of this important research that will have an impact in our understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of, and provide novel treatment avenues to treat, adverse events related to high-dose cannabis exposures.”

Avicanna is an Ontario, Canada based corporation focused on the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of plant-derived cannabinoid-based products through its two main business segments, cultivation and research and development.