PharmaTher Expands Research Partnership with University Health Network For Development of Digital Therapeutics Platform
(Press Release) PharmaTher Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Newscope Capital Corporation (CSE: PHRM) (OTC Pink: PHRRF) and a specialty life sciences company focused on the research and development of psychedelic pharmaceuticals, is pleased to announce that it has amended its sponsored research agreement with University Health Network (“UHN”) for the development of panaceAI™, the Company’s drug repurposing platform, to also include the development of a digital therapeutics platform to combine with potential psychedelic therapies, including the Company’s ketamine and psilocybin focused product pipeline for disorders of the brain and nervous system.
The development work for the Company’s digital therapeutics platform will be conducted by a dedicated research team at Diamandis Lab, which is led by Dr. Phedias Diamandis, MD, PhD, FRCPC, the Principal Investigator who is also advancing the Company’s research with panaceAI™ by merging big data and artificial intelligence to accelerate the drug discovery process.
“We are committed to advancing the clinical development of our product pipeline with ketamine and psilocybin while also speeding up the process of finding effective uses of psychedelic-derived medicines with panaceAI™ and complementing them with a digital therapeutic platform to be synergistic with our focus on psychedelic pharmaceuticals,” said Fabio Chianelli, CEO of PharmaTher. “Dr. Diamandis and his research team at UHN, having a rich research program focused on applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to brain disease, are a perfect fit for guiding our digital therapeutics objectives for neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, depression, neuropathic pain, traumatic brain injury and stroke.”
The global digital therapeutics market was valued at US$ 2.69 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach US$ 11.82 billion by 2027.1 According to the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, digital therapeutics deliver evidence-based therapeutic interventions to patients that are driven by high quality software programs to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder or disease. They are used independently or in concert with medications, devices, or other therapies to optimize patient care and health outcomes. Digital therapeutics products incorporate advanced technology best practices relating to design, clinical validation, usability, and data security. They are reviewed and cleared or approved by regulatory bodies as required to support product claims regarding risk, efficacy, and intended use. Digital therapeutics empower patients, healthcare providers, and payers with intelligent and accessible tools for addressing a wide range of conditions through high quality, safe, and effective data-driven interventions.2
“We are excited to evolve our relationship with PharmaTher for the development and commercialization of a digital therapeutics solution for psychedelic medicines in the treatment of neurological disorders,” said Dr. Diamandis. “My lab has been focused on developing artificial intelligence and machine learning tools directed with the goal of leveraging innovation in technology and digital solutions to address unmet medical needs. Digital therapeutic platforms that can continuously document patients’ biology and symptomatology offer many unique benefits. These include the ability to personalize medication regimens using information gathered both from the individual and big data from large number of patients. The amount of data and feedback you can collect and provide with digital technologies is unprecedented. We are excited to apply these principles and machine learning tools we are developing in the lab for patients with a wide variety of neurological symptoms.”
The research program will be led by Dr. Phedias Diamandis, who is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, a Neuropathologist at UHN and a Scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. His research team focuses on applying innovations in artificial intelligence, big data, tissue bioengineering and large-scale drug profiling, to understand and develop new therapeutic strategies for a wide variety of neurological disorders.
Under the agreement, a dedicated team is directed to develop a digital therapeutic platform integrating self-monitoring applications and machine learning to monitor responses and benefits of psychedelic compounds to treat neurological disorders.
Psychedelics, such as psilocybin act on the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) 2A receptor and have gained clinical interest as potential therapeutic solutions to address difficult to treat neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, posttraumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) and addiction. The US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) designated both MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression as ‘breakthrough therapies’. Non-profit institutions such as Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (“MAPS”), Usona Institute and the Heffter Research Institute as well as academia institutes with dedicated psychedelic and consciousness research centres such as Johns Hopkins University and Imperial College London are also currently focused on the development and clinical research of psychedelic-derived medicines.