Our lead candidate, THCVHS, a proprietary prodrug of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is a topical formulation under development for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension (OHT).
Previous US government studies in humans discovered that THC was able to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP), which is in part responsible for the crush-like injury to the cells of the optic nerve that can eventually result in blindness. Additional preclinical studies have shown the potential for THC to also provide neuroprotective benefit, which may be especially important to patients with glaucoma who are experiencing disease progression with normal IOP levels.
One of the major drawbacks of previous studies of the use of THC for glaucoma was that they relied on inhalation or ingestion of THC. These systemic routes of drug administration cause negative side effects like psychotropic effects and potentially decreasing blood pressure , which resulted in the American Academy of Opthamology determining that the adverse effects of systemic cannabis administration/consumption outweighed its therapeutic benefit.
At Skye Bioscience, we chemically modify THC to create a unique synthetic molecule with the intent to safely realize the known positive effects of THC. Our molecule enables enhanced local delivery in the eye, reduced systemic side effects, and the potential for neuroprotection for the treatment of ocular diseases.
THCVHS for the treatment of glaucoma
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging a nerve in the back of the eye called the optic nerve. Damage to the optic nerve is caused by increased intraocular pressure (IOP) due to improper drainage and/or overproduction of fluid in the eye.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, glaucoma affects over 75million people worldwide and is the leading cause of blindness in adults aged 60 and older.
Current therapies can lower IOP but progressive tolerance requires switching or combining drugs. They do NOT provide neuroprotective capabilities.