UM partners with company for cannabinoid research

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Special to the EAGLE

NEMUS Bioscience Inc. has entered into a research agreement with the company’s development and commercial partner, the University of Mississippi, to advance specialized cannabinoid derivatives for the management of Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).

The agreement was executed based on a series of studies using validated animal models of CIPN exposed to unique cannabinoid-based therapies conducted in the lab of Dr. Kenneth J. Sufka, professor of psychology and pharmacology and research professor with the National Center for Natural Products Research at UM.

Email newsletter signup

“The CIPN market comprises roughly 1.8 million patients among the major global markets and represents a significant unmet medical need. Affected patients represent upwards of 40 percent of those undergoing chemotherapy and 15 percent to 20 percent of these patients continue to experience neuropathic pain after cessation of chemotherapy,” said Brian Murphy, MD, MPH, who serves as both NEMUS CEO and CMO. “We believe intervention with specialized cannabinoid derivatives could help optimize the efficacy and safety of chemotherapeutics.”

Sufka said new methods are needed to improve patient care.

“Therapies for CIPN can often lead to complications including dizziness, confusion, drug tolerance, dependence, and sedation,” Sufka said. “New treatment regimens are needed to mitigate the risk of adverse events and improve patient outcomes.”

Sufka was the recipient of the CASE-Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year award in 2014, a national recognition presented to this country’s outstanding college faculty.

“NEMUS plans to act on significant scientific findings generated by our partner, the University of Mississippi, and with our recent in-licensing of CBD, we plan to leverage these unique cannabinoid derivatives to expand our pipeline, especially into disorders of urgent medical need,”  Murphy said. “The CIPN market is estimated to approach $500 million domestically, while the general neuropathic pain market in the United States afflicts an estimated 6 million patients generating sales of $3 billion in attempts to manage the disease. There is currently no specific treatment for neuropathy as therapy centers around palliative care. We feel that cannabinoid-based therapies can be a significant advance in the management of this debilitating adverse event.”

NEMUS is a biopharmaceutical company, headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of cannabis-based therapeutics for significant unmet medical needs in global markets.

For more information, visit