Catching Up With PharmaDrug CEO Daniel Cohen On COVID-19 Treatments And Psychedelic Research Strategy
Last week, The Dales Report sat down with Daniel Cohen, CEO of PharmaDrug Inc.(CNSX: PHRX) (OTCMKTS: LMLLF) to catch up on the company’s ongoing work and learn more about what it’s doing in the biopharmaceutical space.
COVID-19 Treatments Incoming
Currently, Pharmadrug is awaiting a response from the FDA for its patented oral anti-viral pill intended for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19. Cohen said he expects a response from the FDA “any minute now,” hopefully by the end of November.
Cohen said that according to a recent comparison study including five different drugs, the company’s drug, Cepharanthine, “came out at the top.” One thing Cohen emphasized is that despite hope for an end to the global pandemic, COVID-19 is not going away any time soon, and neither will the need for treatment.
“Not every pill is going to be a solve-all; different pills will be used for different solutions, different variants will ask for different pills,” he said. “I don’t see it unfolding like a situation where you would have only one pill, and that’s a panacea.”
Cohen also noted that Cepharanthine could also be useful for the treatment of other respiratory viruses such as SARS. “I think what the whole situation has shown us is that we need more antiviral drugs. We were caught without any in our repertoire… so I think there’s real need for more than one.”
The Next Steps In Study: Cepharanthine for Cancer
Now that Pharmadrug has completed the first two phases of its three-step preclinical trial, studies are moving from petri dishes into animals.
“The animal study is extremely important for a couple of reasons: firstly, it’s always better data to get in an animal study versus in the dish, because animals are more complex. Secondly, we’ve often talked about Cepharanthine’s potential, and one of its greatest potentials is to reduce chemo resistance, especially in esophageal cancer.”
Cohen said he anticipates the results of the animal studies by mid 2022.
Psychedelics: “Start with the End and Go Backwards”
Pharmadrug is also developing drugs based on psilocybin and DMT. Cohen says that while there is much excitement around psychedelics, there is much that needs to be addressed as far as research goes.
“There’s so much depth that needs to be addressed, and I don’t think one study is going to address all that,” he said, referring to the excitement in the space around the results of the latest Compass study.
While he says starting at the end (the indication) and moving backwards is necessary, it’s also important to focus on how these drugs work in the body.
“Core to our strategies… I also believe that we need to start from the beginning, not just the end,” he said. “Do we understand how they actually function in the body? Let’s understand the mechanism of action and understand how they affect human physiology… once we understand all of that, then it becomes easier to apply that to certain sicknesses.”
Watch the video above to hear Cohen address the company’s other areas of focus, including its research with the University of Michigan and its commercial strategy.