Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Marijuana Patch in the Works

AllTranz Awarded $4 Million Research Grant by NIH and NIDA

Grant Facilitates Development of Novel Transdermal Patch for Treatment
of Cancer, AIDS, and MS Patients and Marijuana Dependence

November 03, 2009 07:00 AM Eastern Time

LEXINGTON, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AllTranz, Inc., a specialty
pharmaceutical company focused on developing drugs to treat a variety of
neurologic and inflammatory disorders, today announced that it has been
awarded a $4 million research grant from the National Institute on Drug
Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to
advance the company's transdermal tetrahydrocannabino l (THC) patch
for the treatment of marijuana dependence and withdrawal. The grant was
awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
(ARRA) and will directly support preclinical development and a planned
Phase I clinical study.

"We are pleased to receive this grant from NIDA and are proud that
peer review has recognized the potential of our innovative approach to
help people addicted to marijuana overcome their drug dependence and
withdrawal symptoms," said Dr. Audra Stinchomb, Chief Scientific
Officer of AllTranz Inc. "By delivering low, steady levels of THC
using our transdermal patch, patients don't experience the euphoria
associated with higher levels."

"NIDA is interested in exploring the role of transdermal THC
delivery as an innovative way to treat marijuana withdrawal symptoms and
dependence," said Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA's director. "This is
especially relevant to our efforts to fill a critical gap in available
treatments for the many Americans struggling with marijuana-related
disorders and their detrimental medical and social consequences. "

AllTranz's patented system presents significant advancements in
transdermal drug delivery. The novel drug delivery technology allows for
the non-invasive, non-oral, controlled delivery of THC. The non-plant
based THC patch is designed to decrease the chance of side effects
including drowsiness, dizziness, and the "high" feeling, as
compared to ingesting a capsule, using a spray inhaler, or smoking
marijuana. The patch will reduce dosing frequency and is expected to
improve marijuana withdrawal and addiction symptoms, similar to nicotine
patch treatment for tobacco smoking cessation.

The patch is initially being developed for marijuana withdrawal and
dependence. Additionally, because of THC's wide-ranging therapeutic
and clinical benefits, AllTranz is proceeding with development of the
patch for other indications, including cancer chemotherapy nausea and
vomiting, AIDS patient appetite stimulation, and multiple sclerosis (MS)
pain. Separate Phase II clinical trials would be pursued for each

Following completion of preclinical studies, AllTranz expects to submit
an Investigational New Drug (IND) application and initiate a Phase I
clinical trial to examine the safety of the patch, which will be
conducted through the Lifetree Clinical Research Center for Neuroscience
Research, which is recognized as a therapeutic leader in central nervous
system (CNS) and analgesia research.

About Marijuana Dependence

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.
According to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than
15 million Americans (nearly 5% of the U.S. population) age 12 or older
used marijuana at least once in the month prior to being surveyed. More
than half of the individuals addicted to marijuana experience
significant withdrawal symptoms if they try to quit. The withdrawal
symptoms contribute to the relapse and maintenance of marijuana use.
Withdrawal symptoms are similar to those experienced by people who quit
cigarettes, cocaine and other drugs. Nearly two-thirds of marijuana
users experience pronounced withdrawal symptoms that can include
anxiety, irritability, depression, mood swings, and sleep problems.

Marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals, including many of the
harmful substances found in tobacco smoke. Smoking one marijuana
cigarette deposits about four times more tar into the lungs than a
filtered tobacco cigarette and Harvard University researchers report the
risk of a heart attack is five times higher than usual in the hour after
smoking marijuana.

About AllTranz

AllTranz, Inc. is a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company
focused on developing drugs to treat a variety of neurologic and
inflammatory disorders. The company's central technology leverages
chemical prodrug delivery techniques developed by its founder and Chief
Scientific Officer, Dr. Audra Stinchcomb. AllTranz has applied its
technology in four key areas: prodrug development, abuse deterrence,
unique microneedle formulations, and an internal drug development
program. AllTranz's strategy is to develop therapeutic products and
form marketing collaborations with industry leaders in order to maximize
their commercial potential. AllTranz's proprietary technology can be
applied to multiple clinical applications, including but not limited to
cancer, AIDS, MS, marijuana withdrawal and neuropathic pain. For
additional information regarding AllTranz, please visit the
company's website at www.alltranz. com


AllTranz, Inc.
Clint Dederick
Chief Executive Officer
cdederick@alltranz. com


Investor and Media Inquiries:
MD Becker Partners LLC
Janet Dally
Senior Vice President
janet@mdbpartners. com

http://www.business wire.com/ news/google/ 20091103005128/ en

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