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Lowe granted new US patent for cannabis-derived drug to treat eye diseases

Thursday, May 16, 2019

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Dr Henry Lowe, the Jamaican scientist known for his anti-cancer research, on Tuesday revealed that he has been granted a new patent from the United States authorities for a cannabis-derived drug for the treatment of eye diseases.

The patent — #US10,278,950B2 — states in part that “the invention provides a cannabis-based flavonoid pharmaceutical composition... for the prevention and treatment of certain ocular diseases and related disorders”.

“This pharmaceutical innovation is exciting because it will be able to bring relief to millions of people throughout the world who are suffering from certain eye diseases. It will also have the potential to tap into the billions of dollars spent on the management of eye diseases,” a news release from Lowe's office said, adding that the major eye diseases referenced in the patent are glaucoma and myopia.

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation in the US, more than 60 million people worldwide have the disease. At the same time, the World Health Organization has projected that myopia and high myopia will affect 52 per cent (4,949 million) and 10.0 per cent (925 million), respectively, of the world's population by 2050.

Lowe, who has earned worldwide acclaim for developing nutraceuticals from Jamaican plants, said that his “major research and health care innovation interests are to develop nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products to treat the health care problems of millions of persons throughout the world who are suffering from ailments such as cancers, ocular and neurological diseases”.

Dr Lowe, who has been granted some 12 patents in the US and has about 10 pending in Jamaica, stated that he “believes in the monetisation of scientific research and innovation because it is through investments and collaboration that the work can be continued, which will lead to the ability to later on reap the rewards”.

Lowe and his research partner Dr Ngeh Toyang noted that the foundation for this new patent was laid by the pioneering scientific work done by Professor Manley West and Dr Albert Lockhart in the development of Canasol, the first commercial medicinal agent from cannabis.

Recently, Lowe and Toyang developed “a second generation drug” for treating glaucoma. Unlike the Canasol eye drops, the new product is administered by sublingual drops.


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