Karhlyle Fletcher   |   February 18, 2020

Partnerships & Patents: Cannabinoid-Based Medicine in Oncology

AXIM Biotechnologies, Sapphire Biotech, Inc., gains exclusive license for cancer-fighting patents.
A passionate Detroit local, Karhlyle works everyday to establish ethical access to information on the national and city level. Medical, as well as technical research, is a driving passion of his, but he is also a published fiction author,…

In January 2020, Sapphire Biotech, Inc., acquiree of AXIM Biotechnologies, signed an agreement with Skysong Innovations establishing license rights to pharmaceutical materials and methods for cancer treatment. Such a development is a win in the fight against cancer and for the federal legalization of cannabis.

What Does AXIM Biotechnologies Do?

An international healthcare solutions company targeting oncological and cannabinoid research, AXIM Biotechnologies is behind great efforts to legitimize cannabinoid-based medicine and to formulate potential treatments for underserved victims of various conditions. They develop products such as Wellness Gum, hemp-derived CBD-rich chewing gum, in addition to running groundbreaking research. Their mission is to develop alternative treatment options that are more effective and have fewer side effects. Currently, they are focusing on finding new ways to diagnose and treat cancer, as well as the intense side effects of chemotherapy and more with known and novel cannabinoid-based products.

What Attracted AXIM Biotechnologies to Sapphire Biotech, Inc.?

Sapphire is staffed by a world-renowned research team focused on treating cancer. Such a position made them a natural acquisition for AXIM, who gains Sapphire’s already existing patent-pending portfolio of technologies, and the ability to develop new molecules, including cannabinoid-derived molecules, and potential treatment options for several conditions.

Recently Cannabis Tech had the fortunate opportunity to speak with John Huemoeller, the CEO of AXIM Biotechnologies. He illuminated why AXIM was interested in acquiring Sapphire Biotech, Inc., several developing products, and what the licensing rights secured by Sapphire mean.

"Sapphire brings us an entire oncology company that we can merge into and acquire," Huemoeller said. "They are good at making unique synthetic compounds, with  4 patents pending. They've also licensed a proprietary compound  from the Mayo Clinic called SBI-183, which inhibits the growth of an enzyme called QSOX1.” He explained, “Your body is creating new cells every second, or every millisecond, millions of cells a day, and you need QSOX1 to make those new cells. What happens is when it alters, and it becomes QSOX1-long. When you start getting elevated levels of QSOX1-long, the compound assists cancer's growth."

AXIM Biotechnologies is keen on being involved in the development of synthetic compounds because, as Huemoelloer explained, "[Cannabis's legitimacy as a pharmacological substance] comes down to the pharmaceutical side. At the end of the day, anyone can use marijuana. Does that kill cancer or not? Probably not,” he stated. “You've got to make synthetic drugs, and be able to test them. It has to be clinical studies, and you have to do it the right way, or else the FDA is not going to approve it.”

Having an acquiree so successful in the world of chemical synthesis is a significant asset for AXIM's journey to get cannabinoids respected as a medical substance. The federal government of the United States won't believe anything other than clinical trials with synthesized compounds. Epidiolex paved the way for CBD, and similar compounds can do the same for different cannabinoids. AXIM and Sapphire are already interested in creating “Super-Cannabinoids,” which aim to be several times more potent and soluble than traditional cannabinoids.

Pre-clinical research already demonstrates that cannabinoids can affect cancer’s growth and progression. Scientists from both AXIM and Sapphire have been working on cannabinoid-like molecules to treat cancer and a more extensive range of diseases. AXIM believes this work will result in potent, bioavailable, low dose, and safe “Super-Cannabinoids.”

What has Sapphire Obtained?

Dr. Douglas Lake at Arizona State University was able to identify an enzyme in the body, called QSOX1, which assisted the growth of cancer cells, as well as how to deactivate it in the body. A synthetic substance acts to deactivate the enzyme. Sapphire was able to obtain the rights to this substance.

"If [the enzyme] was growing in large numbers, then you probably had a tumor growing," Huemoeller stated. What if you could inhibit that from happening? Running tests on 50,000 different compounds, they found SBI-183, which inhibited the growth of the tumor in vivo and in vitro and animal studies.

He continued, “It has shown excellent results in being able to inhibit that enzyme, QSOX1, from growing. If you can inhibit QSOX1 from growing then you can shrink tumors, you can hit it with other treatments such as chemo and get it much more stable in the long run. Sapphire has developed analogs from SBI-183, which are much more soluble and ten times strong. We're testing those analogs as we speak, in vivo and in vitro, and then we plan to do a study with animals here shortly."

This license could revolutionize cancer treatment. "Sapphire has been able to distinguish the difference between QSOX1-long and short and to tell if you have an enzyme that is possibly growing cancer or not and develop diagnostic tests using our biomarkers that they have filed for patents for," Huemoeller said.

"We believe someday we'll be able to do a simple blood test with a drop of blood, and within five minutes, we'll be able to have results for your QSOX1 number, and if it's extremely elevated, you could have a problem. Then you're going to need to do some further work. Nobody has ever done anything like that, and we're able to tell rapid early diagnostics. This could be in a doctor's office instead of taking some biopsies and waiting for results,” he added.

What Does AXIM Stand to Gain?

As a company, AXIM is interested in profits and the development of cannabinoid-based medicines, but also in treating people. Developing a novel and effective early detection method for cancer will save lives around the world. That's a worthy enough goal on its own; however, such a success would be excellent for the company.

Successfully creating such a method would further prove their reputation as a leader in medical research and allow them to research cocktails, including SBI-183, or a more effective compound if one is found, and cannabinoid-based medicine. Most medicines are made more potent in such mixtures, and so finding cancer-fighting options that pair with cannabinoid-based substances would be a significant win for alternative treatment options and cannabis legalization.

 

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