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  • Incannex Healthcare (IHL) has reported some encouraging results from a preclinical rat trial for its IHL-216A drug’s ability to treat brain injuries
  • The drug, which is made up of a mixture of cannabidiol (CBD) and volatile anaesthetic agents, is being developed to reduce the secondary effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • A recent Incannex test found the drug performed better than CBD by itself in reducing neuron damage and behavioural issues associated with TBI
  • Importantly, the drug adheres to global anti-doping laws to ensure it can be potentially used by athletes
  • Incanncex CEO and Managing Director Joel Latham says the contact sports world is a key market for the drug
  • The company is now working out the most efficient clinical trial program for IHL-216A to follow up the animal studies
  • Shares in Incannex are up almost 3 per cent this morning and trading at 18 cents each

Incannex Healthcare (IHL) has reported some encouraging results from a preclinical rat trial for its IHL-216A drug’s ability to treat brain injuries.

The pharmaceutical company is developing the drug, which is made up of a mixture of cannabidiol (CBD) and volatile anaesthetic agents, to reduce neuronal damage, neuroinflammation, and behavioural problems that are caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI).

As part of this trial, IHL-216A used CBD combined with anaesthetic agent isoflurane. The drug was administered in rats soon after inducing severe head trauma to test its ability to reduce secondary brain injuries.

These types of injuries can occur minutes, days, or even months after the initial injury. The animal trial found that IHL-216A yielded better results than CBD by itself in several key neurological tests.

Importantly, Incannex’s drug has been designed to make sure it adheres to global anti-doping laws for potential use in athletes.

Incannex CEO and Managing Director Joel Latham said today’s test results are “extremely pleasing” and show major improvements in the key markets of secondary brain injury.

“Our intent is for IHL-216A to be the first line of defence to dampen the short- and long-term effects of traumatic brain injury caused by any means, but particularly in contact sports, such as the NFL and the major contact sporting codes in Australia where CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) is a growing concern,” Joel explained.

The test

To conduct the test, researchers first had to induce traumatic brain injury in rats before treating them with IHL-216A.

Incannex explained that isoflurane was first administered on the day of the injury, and CBD was then administered every day for seven days after the initial injury occurred.

The drug was also tested on a vehicle control group of uninjured rats.

Incannex then tested four distinct analytical techniques to measure the benefit, if any, IHL-216A had on the test subjects.

As far as neutron damage goes, IHL-216A outperformed CBD alone by 53 per cent and 60 per cent in two respective hippocampal regions of the brain.

A number of behavioural markers — like memory and balance — were also assessed, and IHL-216A once again showed promising results.

What’s next?

Incannex said following the recent test results, the company is now working out the most efficient clinical trial program for IHL-216A to follow up the animal studies so as to pursue a new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This new clinical program is slated for early 2021.

Meanwhile, the company has recently filed an international patent application for the IHL-216A product to protect its intellectual property in foreign jurisdictions.

Shares in Incannex are trading 2.94 per up this morning to 18 cents each at 11:39 am AEDT. The company has a $178.94 million market cap.

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