Jamaican researchers for medical cannabis symposium in London

Jamaican researchers for medical cannabis symposium in London

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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TWO of the country's leading medical cannabis researchers — Professor Henry Lowe and Professor Errol Morrison — are to headline day one of the Global Medical Cannabis Research Symposium in London, which is set for September 18-19.

The symposium, a release said yesterday, was borne out of a partnership between the UK Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) and the Jamaican Medical Cannabis Corporation (JMCC).

Both professors will be among other medical researchers and clinicians from around the globe, and will share their own research experience and Jamaica's history with medicinal cannabis with their UK peers, the release said.

Dr Lowe, a medical cannabis pioneer and chief executive officer of Medicanja, was asked to share key findings from current research during a session titled: 'Clinical Trials for AML and Pancreatic Cancer'.

According to the release, he will discuss his cannabis-based, FDA-approved “orphan drug” for acute myeloid leukemia. Having been so designated in 2017, the US Orphan Drug Act provides for the granting of special status to a drug or biological product to treat a rare disease or condition upon the request of a sponsor.

The Medicanja CEO will be preceded at the symposium by Professor Morrison, director general of Jamaica's National Commission of Science and Technology.

Professor Morrison, the release said, will set the stage with 'A Short History of the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis'.

His presentation will highlight ancient cannabis uses in China, India, Africa, its use in traditional medicine and finally, contemporary research in Jamaica.

While in London, Professor Morrison will also present a copy of his autobiography, Growing Tall…Pursuing Excellence, to the Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Seth George Ramocan.

According to the release, observers have underscored the timeliness of the event, given that the recent releases of National Health Service (NHS) England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) reviews called for the need for more evidence to support the prescribing of medicinal cannabis via the NHS.

Noting the significance of researchers from around the globe converging in London for this exchange of knowledge and experiences, JMCC Group's chair and CEO Diane Scott said she hoped the symposium would encourage more international collaboration in this area.

“We've been fortunate in our travels to hear quite a bit about the many exciting medical cannabis research projects now in progress around the world, a few of which JMCC is supporting in different ways. So, we're very pleased to help bring the researchers involved in a sample of these projects to London to discuss their work with members of the UK medical research community,” Scott is quoted as saying.

According to CMC's founder and director Steve Moore, “The lack of evidence-based knowledge surrounding cannabis-based medicinal products is one of the key blocking factors as to why doctors in the UK are not prescribing, despite recent law changes. The goal is to encourage more UK-based research”.

Other speakers for the event include: Dr Saoirse O'Sullivan, science lead, Centre for Medicinal Cannabis; Dr Elyad Davidson, Hadassah Hebrew University, Israel; Dr Evan Cole Lewis, director, Neurology Centre of Toronto; and Dr Regina Nelson, founder of the eCS Therapy Center in Colorado, USA.

The release said attendees will learn about current UK and international research projects focused on cancer, pain management, paediatric epilepsy, AML, gastrointestinal disorders, sexual dysfunction, and other conditions. Other sessions will facilitate the exchange of experiences on research and clinical trial best practices, and funding sources.

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