The work will be funded by CanNegev, a cannabis innovation incubator sponsored by the government of Israel.
“Our mission has been solely focused on funding tech-focused companies with proven innovation that has the potential to advance from the research stage to the drug development stage to address unmet needs,” Bet Or said. “DTL shows the potential to identify a breakthrough therapeutic remedy for Parkinson’s Disease symptoms and a pathway for effective delivery of the treatment.”
Unlokt to change how cannabinoids enter bloodstream
The cannabis plant has been used by humans for millennia both recreationally and for medicinal purposes. Cannabis makes a number of biologically active compounds, known as cannabinoids. The most well-known of these are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is mainly responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis use, and cannabidiol (CBD), which is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anxiety-reducing effects.
The cannabis plant also contains a number of terpenes, which are a broad group of chemicals made by plants that can affect how the plant looks, smells, or tastes. Differences in terpene profiles are largely responsible for the variations in smell between different strains of cannabis.
“Research shows that cannabis has the ability to ease Parkinson’s symptoms in patients, but to date, no one has been able to decipher the exact combination of cannabinoids and terpenes for a consistent, reliable, and repeatable remedy,” said Shimon Lecht, PhD, DTL’s chief innovation officer.
“There are over a trillion possible combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes that could be derived from the cannabis plant, but only a handful are the optimal combination to treat Parkinson’s. Our mission is to discover the correct combination, and to identify the precise ratio so all active ingredients interact in the right way with each other,” Lecht said.
Unlokt works by packing cannabis inside a protective natural protein, the company reports, allowing a precise release of cannabinoids and terpenes into the bloodstream, a point that’s essential for cannabis’ medical use.
“Utilizing a groundbreaking technology like Unlokt in the adult-use market is revolutionary and game-changing, and creates incredibly enjoyable products, but it only scratches the surface of what this technology is capable of,” said Josh Rubin, the company’s co-founder and CEO.
DTL is the first company to have passed the initial phase of the CanNegev program, which involved establishing the project idea. The next step will be research and data collection in preparation for a September presentation to the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA).
The program’s third and final phase requires a proof-of-concept presentation to the IIA that could allow DTL to garner an additional 1.25 million Israeli shekels (about $363,500) for product development.
“Our work with CanNegev is just the beginning of the technological advances we are bringing to this fast-growing industry with the hope of eradicating previously untreatable illnesses and conditions and bringing solutions to the cannabis industry that are safer, more efficacious and efficient,” Rubin said.