CANNAINVESTOR Magazine February / March 2017 - Page 23



•We have expanded our pre-clinical cancer activities to include pancreatic cancer

•Research program commencing in early 2017

•Pancreatic cancer is the twelfth most common cancer globally with over 330,000 new cases diagnosed in 20121

•Project seeks to replicate success of Zelda’s cannabinoid formulations on breast cancer

Zelda Therapeutics has entered into a research collaboration agreement with Curtin University (Australia).

This collaboration will test a range of Zelda’s formulations and protocols against Curtin’s suite of in vitro pancreatic cancer models. This is where the cannabis formulations will be tested against human pancreatic cell cancer lines grown in the laboratory.

The aim of this work is to test the impact of Zelda’s cannabinoid formulations as stand-alone treatments and in combination with existing chemotherapy drugs such as Abraxane that is often used to treat pancreatic cancer.

There is a growing body of evidence that whole plant cannabinoid extracts can impede cancer growth and potentially render the tumor more responsive to chemotherapeutic agents. This program will seek to identify whether Zelda formulations can generate anti-cancer activity both alone and in combination with chemotherapeutic agents.

Pancreatic cancer is the twelfth most common cancer globally, with over 330,000 diagnoses in 20121. In Australia alone, it is estimated that there will be over 3,000 diagnoses this year (2016) 2. With a very low five year survival rate, the pancreatic cancer market will greatly benefit from further research and development using novel approaches.

Curtin’s Professor Marco Falasca, from the School of Biomedical Sciences, and his team are experts in the investigation of cell signaling pathways, such as those found in cancerous tumor cells that are responsible for regulating the internal cellular processes where the uncontrolled growth begins.

In recent years, Professor Falasca and his team have discovered that ‘lipid signaling’ is over- activated in the initial stages of pancreatic cancer, and this in turn promotes the growth of cancerous cells. They have also discovered a novel mechanism that uses ABC transporters and G-protein coupled receptors (important proteins located on the surface of cells) that can halt cancer progression and cell signaling.

We will be testing Zelda’s formulations using these recent discoveries against specific receptors and looking to replicate the positive effects observed in our breast cancer research program. Zelda expects these trials to commence in early 2017, with results to follow thereafter.

1 Source: Pancreatic Cancer World Research Fund International 2 Source: Australian Government Cancer Council