SAN DIEGO, Aug. 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC Pink: MJNA) is pleased to announce that one of its investment portfolio companies, KannaLife Sciences, Inc. (“KannaLife”), a bio-pharmaceutical and phyto-medical company, has been awarded its second license agreement by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a drug to treat a concussion syndrome called CTE using derivatives from medical marijuana. The license agreement is in effect through February, 2021. In addition to CTE, in June 2012, KannaLife was previously awarded an exclusive license from NIH, for the same ‘507 Patent, for the development of a target drug candidate for treating Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE).
Boston University’s website cites, “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head.”
While the NFL is still suspending players for testing for Marijuana use, past and present players are actively throwing red flags about the effects of concussions. The issue has escalated to the point that the NFL has provided the National Institutes of Health with $30 million in research grant monies to develop a CTE drug.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services holds Patent #6,630,507, “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants.” KannaLife Sciences is involved in the research and development of therapeutic agents designed to reduce oxidative stress and act as immuno-modulators and neuroprotectants and currently holds an exclusive license agreement with the National Institutes of Health — Office of Technology Transfer (NIH-OTT) for the commercialization of U.S. Patent #6,630,507, “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants” (the “‘507 Patent”). The NIH has licensed the same patent to Kannalife Sciences to develop an FDA-approved drug for CTE through 2021.
“Kannalife is extremely pleased to have the opportunity to continue its body of research in the field of encephalopathy and brain related disorders. We hope our early pre-clinical success in HE can be a pathway to an additional solution for finding a treatment for CTE and to alleviate the debilitating effects of concussions,” states Dean Petkanas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kannalife Sciences.
KannaLife CEO, Dean Petkanas, was featured on Fox Business discussing the NIH’s research and development for CTE and in a recent Albany Times Unionarticle discussing involvement in supporting legalization of medical cannabis in New York and playing a key role in establishing standardization within the cannabis industry. KannaLife co-founder Thoma Kikis was featured on New York’s News 12 in a piece about the NIH’s agreement with the Company and recently in a Bloomberg TV News interview.
“The announcement of a new federal license on CTE research and development is groundbreaking,” states Michelle Sides, Chief Operating Officer of Medical Marijuana, Inc. “Medical Marijuana, Inc. recognized that Kannalife Sciences’ phyto-medical capabilities were ‘game changing.’ As a result, MJNA committed to Series A funding in 2013. We are thrilled at the NIH’s decision to grant an additional license to KannaLife Sciences to develop an FDA-approved CTE drug. We hope the NFL sees this opportunity to work with KannaLife in collaboration towards finding a therapeutic agent to help treat severely concussed players and retired players suffering with CTE. Finding a solution for CTE benefits NFL players past and present and it also applies to athletes participating in other professional and recreational sports.” The NFL is not the only professional sports league plagued with concussions. Current and former players in many professional contact sports leagues as well as service members and veterans also included in those raising concerns about effects of concussions. – source