Clinical trials will explore the medical efficacy of Cannflavin B for pancreatic cancer

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer; responsible for causing an estimated 45,750 deaths in the United States alone last year. While traditional types of treatments such as chemotherapy may be successful in some instances, the side effects can be intolerable.

Thankfully, scientists have discovered a unique flavonoid derived from a Jamaican strain of cannabis that could possess potential in fighting the deadly disease. The findings were published in the Frontiers in Oncology journal last summer.

In an attempt to learn more about the cannabis flavonoid, approval has been granted by the federal government for the commencement of a series of clinical trials. A company called Flavocure Biotech Inc. will fund the research into cannabis for pancreatic cancer. 

Raw plant material will not be used in this instance, however. Rather, the team will examine an anti-cancer drug developed using Cannflavin B. The scientists referred to this drug as ‘Caflanone’ or ‘FBL-03G’.

Cannflavin B for pancreatic cancer: FDA grants Flavocure Caflanone Orphan Drug status 

Flavocure has been given the go-ahead from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to kick-start the next phase of trials, which will explore the efficacy of using Cannflavin B to treat pancreatic cancer. Caflanone Orphan Drug status has been granted to the drug discovery and development company; meaning that the pharmaceutical agent will have an easier time gaining marketing approval, if all goes well.

‘Black Swan’ is the name of the Jamaican cannabis strain that the compound was initially derived from. Endemic to Jamaica, it was discovered by Flavocure chairman Dr. Henry Lowe PhD. The Jamaican cannabis strain was named ‘Black Swan’ “due to its high flavonoid-rich spectrum.” 

Interestingly, the researchers confirmed that when the body was exposed to Cannflavin B, cancer cells broke down. Moreover, the effects of traditional radiation therapies and chemotherapy treatments were ameliorated once Cannflavin B came into the equation.

“Research continues at Harvard Medical School; an institution credited with development and collaboration of some of the world’s most successful drugs,” said the Co-Founder & Executive Vice Chairman of Flavocure, Clark Swanson, during an interview with the Medical Cannabis Network. “Investigational New Drug (IND) enabling studies are essentially complete now, and we are confident in the results and the much-anticipated clinical stage of our company’s drug development.”

Cannflavin B for pancreatic cancer: Study subjects are being sought to participate in forthcoming trials

The potent anti-inflammatory compound Cannflavin B has scientists and doctors in a flurry. After all, the one-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is just 20 percent, while the five-year survival rate is a mere seven percent; according to the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. 

Following the discovery of cannflavin B’s ability to eliminate pancreatic cancer cells, researchers at Flavocure started exploring ways to develop a synthetic version. Producing a synthetic version is essential, since the strain in its natural form has an average flavonoid content of just 0.14 percent.

The next stage of the process will involve finding suitable study subjects, of whom can be treated with cannflavin B for pancreatic cancer. 

“Recruitment will begin the first quarter of 2020,” Swanson explained. “At this time, we plan to carry out a multisite study. We anticipate East and West Coast, USA.”

No further details have been made available at this time.