University of Wollongong partners with Creso Pharma to research medicinal cannabis

A major nutraceutical and medical cannabis company and the University of Wollongong may seem like strange bedfellows.

But Professor Judy Raper welcomed the research collaboration with Creso Pharma Limited, that will support further understanding of the effect of cannabis-based products on the human central nervous system.

The UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) said the collaboration with ASX-listed company Creso was further evidence of UOW’s growing expertise in understanding the effects of medicinal cannabis.

‘’The collaboration is expected to be the first of several potential industry connections with growing interest in the field of medicinal cannabis and the need for a rigorous scientific evidence underpinning its safe and appropriate use in therapeutic treatment,’’ Prof Raper said.

Under the collaboration, Creso will leverage UOW’s scientific expertise for validation and optimisation of its drug delivery systems and clinical evidence generation.

Dr Katrina Green, from UOW’s School of Medicine, will lead the studies, with an emphasis on investigating how CBD, a non-intoxicating component of cannabis, influences learning, memory and attention. 

Dr Katrina Green, from UOW’s School of Medicine, will lead the studies, with an emphasis on investigating how CBD, a non-intoxicating component of cannabis, influences learning, memory and attention

Evidence from research around the world, including recent studies by Dr Green, have indicated promising results for the use of CBD in offering potential solutions for symptoms of a wide variety of conditions including schizophrenia that are not addressed by current treatments.

‘’The partnership with industry is important because it allows us to use commercial drug delivery systems in a controlled laboratory environment to delve into the potential, but also the unknowns, of the cannabis plant and its interaction with the central nervous system,’’ Dr Green said.

‘’Having an industry partner also creates a bench-to-bedside pathway that allows us to take fundamental research toward realisation of translational medicine.’’

Creso Pharma chief operating officer David Russell welcomed the collaboration with UOW.

‘’Medicinal cannabis is under-researched and this collaboration will help provide the clinical evidence needed to develop safe, pharma-grade products for use in therapeutic treatments,’’ he said.

‘’Being able to draw on the expertise from the UOW School of Medicine will be invaluable in helping to understand further the benefits and potential of medicinal cannabis.’’

This partnership comes hot on the heels of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) announcing funding of $2.5 million to establish the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence (ACRE).

ACRE will be led by the University of Newcastle and University of Wollongong.

Dr Green is an associated investigator of the world-first centre, which involves researchers and clinicians from at least 10 other Australian universities and other research institutions.

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