With an estimated 1.3 million people in the United Kingdom suffering from extended effects following an initial infection of COVID-19, Australian medicinal cannabis company Bod Australia (ASX: BOD) is looking to conduct a clinical trial into the efficacy of its products on long COVID.
The company today announced it received Clinical Trail Authorisation by the UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, allowing it to commence a clinical trial into the effectiveness of its MediCabilis 5% CBD product on long-COVID.
This follows final protocol design and ethics approval, allowing for immediate commencement of Bod’s participant recruitment process.
The study will see 30 trial participants recruited that are suffering from long COVID – a condition without a leading treatment where symptoms of an initial COVID-19 infection continue for more than eight weeks.
Participants in the trial will be administered daily doses of Bod’s medicinal cannabis product MediCabilis 5% over a six month period, allowing Bod to capture efficacy data and provides a pathway towards the commercialisation of a potential treatment product which would be sold throughout the UK and other countries.
“There are a wide range of long COVID indications, including shortness of breath, fatigue, worsening chest discomfort, loss of concentration, chronic pain, anxiety and insomnia,” says BOD.
“Many of these symptoms may be amenable to treatment with cannabis-based medicinal products, highlighting a significant opportunity for Bod.”
The medicinal cannabis company says success in the initiative would unlock a large market opportunity, with the UK Office of National Statistics estimating 1.3 million people in the UK are currently suffering from the condition, and that approximately one in every 40 people with COVID-19 have symptoms lasting at least three months.
Bod CEO Jo Patterson said she was confident that MediCabilis may provide a solution to the condition, given it is already being used to alleviate a number of conditions which are common in people suffering long-COVID.
“While there aren’t any existing treatments for long-COVID, our medicinal cannabis products have been used to treat and alleviate a number of similar conditions,” Patterson said.
“We anticipate that this clinical trial will provide us with great insight into its potential to treat long-COVID and build on the body of evidence for the use of cannabis-based medicines, in place of other pharmaceuticals.
“We will utilise the data generated to gain a better understanding of whether MediCabilis can be used as a potential treatment and how we can expedite further product commercialisation, which will underpin ongoing sales growth.”
Shares in BOD are up 6.82 per cent to $0.24 per share at 12.09pm AEDT. The company came in 17th in last year’s list of Australia’s top 20 listed cannabis companies published in July, although its share price is down 27 per cent since then.