Created in 2019, Piauhy Labs received its pre-license from Infarmed, the Portuguese pharmaceutical regulatory agency, in 2020. Since then, the company has also submitted a request for a R&D license for controlled substances to the regulatory agency, which will serve as the kickstarter for new pharmaceutical developments at Biocant Park.
With its most recent partnership, Piauhy Labs hopes to conduct further research on the Cannabis plant and its compounds, advancing in its goal of producing effective treatments for different types of illnesses. Through analytical chemistry operations conducted at Biocant Park, the company will be able to identify and extract the different components of the plant for therapeutic use.
The Cannabis sativa plant, within its different species, has a complex matrix of over 550 substances, including terpenes, carbohydrates, and cannabinoids. The extraction of part of these cannabinoids and terpenes, along with their proper identification, may lead to greater discoveries regarding the pharmaceutical application of these compounds on patients suffering from several different kinds of diseases. The identification of these substances will be carried out using gas chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography equipment. The medical cannabis company will then study the substances originating from the plant and their efficacy and potential for the treatment of neural diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and autism.
Furthermore, regarding the extraction of Cannabis compounds for therapeutic use, Piauhy Labs also intends to begin working on another new research project, which will involve the creation of
The company’s project could also reveal the therapeutic potential of many of the compounds that exist in smaller quantities within the plant, as many pharmacologically relevant cannabinoids are only present in very low amounts, making it extremely difficult to extract them in high purity and scale.
Possible partnerships await
The new space at Biocant could also mean the establishment of partnerships with fellow biotech companies for further research development. One of these potential partnerships relates to the study of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The interest in this area arises from advanced studies which suggest that unregulated inflammatory cascades may be involved in the origin and development of this disease, as well as conclusive studies that show that CB2, a receptor of the endocannabinoid system, plays a significant role in the modulation of these inflammatory cascades. According to this literature, there is the hypothesis that the increased expression of CB2 accelerates the progression of Alzheimer’s.
That said, for the treatment of this disease, Piauhy Labs aims to create CB2 mAbs, which are monoclonal antibodies, using the CMV (CytoMegaloVirus) promoter, which is a vector of expression, in other words, a DNA molecule, used to control the transcription of a particular gene.
Additionally, the company intends to carry out other experiments based on innovative experimental designs.