SciSparc Ltd. (Nasdaq: SPRC) will be conducting a clinical trial in Israel examining the effects of CBD oil on children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The company announced the upcoming study on Monday which will be run at the Soroka University Medical Center in the city of Be’er Sheva. The trial has been approved by the Israeli Ministry of Health and the Ethics Committee from the medical centre.
The proprietary treatment designated as SCI-210 utilizes a combination of CBD and CannAmide, an anti-inflammatory painkiller developed by SciSparc primarily made from palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) — a natural compound. The trial will be assessing the efficacy, safety and tolerability of SCI-210 in comparison to CBD monotherapy in kids with ASD.
The word spectrum in ASD refers to the vast range of symptoms and varying level of severity in those with the disorder. ASD impacts brain development and causes communication issues and problems with regular social interaction.
“PEA is an endocannabinoid-like lipid mediator with extensively documented anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory and neuroprotective effects,” says the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
One of Israel’s leading cannabis companies, Tikun Olam Cannbit (TASE: TKUN), will be supplying SciSparc with the CBD oil which will be derived from its cultivars.
SciSparc has also developed SCI-210 to treat status epilepticus, a condition primarily found in children and seniors causing severe seizures.
The company has a pipeline of other proprietary drugs used to treat Tourette syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease and pain.
SciSparc’s stock dropped by 5.62 per cent on Wednesday to US$0.72 on the Nasdaq Exchange and Tikun Olam’s stock dipped by 2.9 per cent to the equivalent of $27.75 on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Cannabis, a key medicine in Israel
“Israeli scientists have been involved in cannabis preclinical research over 50 years, and clinicians have done clinical research and have treated patients with cannabis for over a decade,” said a 2015 article in the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology.
Israel was also one of the world’s first countries to establish a medical cannabis program, dating back decades.
The country’s medical cannabis program was established in the 1990s and although it started with only a few dozen designated patients it has grown considerably over time. As of 2021, the number of Israeli patients licensed to use medical pot is estimated be more than 80,000, according to the journal Complementary Therapies and Medicine.
Tikun Olam completed Israel’s largest-ever cannabis extract shipment to Germany at the end of November last year containing thousands of vials.
Canadian companies like Decibel Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX-V: DB) (OTCQB: DBCCF), Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF)’s British Columbia subsidiary Pure Sunfarms and PharmaCielo Ltd. (TSX-V: PCLO) (OTCQX: PCLOF) have been shipping their cannabis to Israel in recent years.