COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.--()--Cannabis Science Inc (OTCBB: CBIS) announced the appointment of Mariel Selbovitz, MPH as Vice President of Research Program Development, reflecting the maturing direction of the company with the initiation of the CS-TATI-1 Program and related pandemic drug resistant infectious diseases and co-morbidities research programs to enhance the Company’s scope of expertise on the development of novel phytocannabinoid-based therapeutics, including those for HIV oncology and SAEs of chemotherapy.
“We welcome Ms. Selbovitz’s experience and expertise in HIV and strongly believe she is a very valuable addition to the Cannabis Science management team and our endeavor to develop more effective, less expensive treatments for drug resistant HIV”
Cannabis Science has recently expanded its therapeutic indication focus to include HIV with the initiation of the CS-TATI-1 research and development program for a phytocannabinoids-based HIV-1 Tat inhibitor.
Robert Melamede PhD, President & CEO of Cannabis Science Inc., stated, “The addition of Ms. Selbovitz to our team will allow for well coordinated engagement of the preclinical development of CS-TATI-1 and other corporate research initiatives. Her insight into clinical program management and dedication to rationale drug development practice will greatly benefit the research efforts of Cannabis Science.”
Ms. Selbovitz has focused on supporting discovery and innovation in attacking HIV at many levels, working closely with biotechnology companies, federal bodies, policy makers, researchers, clinicians and patient advocates to stimulate research on innovative pharmaceutical, immunomodulator and genetic approaches to the virus.
“We welcome Ms. Selbovitz’s experience and expertise in HIV and strongly believe she is a very valuable addition to the Cannabis Science management team and our endeavor to develop more effective, less expensive treatments for drug resistant HIV,” said Dr. Roscoe Moore, Assistant U.S. Surgeon General (Retired) and member of the Company’s Senior Scientific Advisory Board.
Ms. Selbovitz is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Cornell University and serves as the Chair of the Cornell AIDS Clinical Trials Group Community Advisory Board. Mariel has authored 15 abstracts that have been presented at leading HIV/AIDS conferences around the world. Most recently, she had an oral presentation accepted for publication by Retrovirology on the effect of Probiotics on immunological presentation and preservation of viral-host restrictive factors of Th17 cells in HIV patients. She has also published a number of articles on HIV biomedical interventions and public policy issues, including on the challenges facing the HIV drug pipeline.
Along with basic wet and dry laboratory research coordination at Cannabis Science Ms. Selbovitz will assist in design of preclinical and early stage protocol development, facilitate collaborative research and development agreements, interaction with NIH Office of Technology Transfer, interface with government sponsored clinical research programs on an international scale, engage in pre-clinical CRO oversight and investigative site management. Ms. Selbovitz will also assist in regulatory affairs, abstract development and other efforts pertinent to the development of CS-TATI-1.
“I am extremely excited about this opportunity to help advance the clinical development of this promising new HIV treatment approach. The development of the first Tat inhibitor would significantly change the current course of the AIDS crisis at a time when drug resistance is beginning to erode the significant gains made in antiretroviral therapy,” concluded Ms. Selbovitz.
Data published in March by researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that cannabinoids inhibit Tat induced migration to macrophages via cannabinoid 2 receptors (CB2). A National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Award Grant provided funding for the Mount Sinai study. Cannabis Science’s CS-TATI-1 program is targeted towards newly diagnosed patients infected with drug resistant virus, treatment experienced patients with drug-resistant strains, and those intolerant of currently available therapies. Cannabis Science will be pursuing a wide range of NIH based Federal Research Programs such as RO1s, PO1s and SBIRs, which exist to support preclinical development of target validation and proof of concept studies. Cannabis Science will be pursing implementation of these studies through collaborations with leading scientific institutions. Cannabis Science will also be pursuing other clinical research collaborations including the AIDS Clinical Trials Groups (ACTG), the Canadian AIDS Trial Network (CATN) and the European AIDS Trial Network (EATN).
The ability of HIV to mutate and reproduce itself even in the presence of antiretroviral drugs has resulted in a rising rate of drug resistance throughout the world. Increasing drug resistance is severely limiting treatment options for people living with HIV, driving up direct and indirect health costs, furthering the transmission of drug resistant strains and creating a pressing need to develop new HIV drugs.
The U.S. government invests billions of dollars per year in HIV/AIDS research, treatment and care through a variety of domestic and international programs. The Ryan White CARE Act, which funds the treatment and care of people living with HIV in the U.S., currently totals $2.3 billion a year. Among its many other contributions to the global fight against HIV/AIDS, the U.S. HIV Military Research Program is supported by $22.8 million annually and is the largest contributor to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at approximately $1 billion per year.
Pharmaceutical sales to treat HIV equal $10.6 billion annually. The average cost of treating an HIV patients in the U.S., of which there are an estimated 1.1 million, for antiretroviral drugs alone is $15,000 per person per year.
About Cannabis Science, Inc.
Cannabis Science, Inc. is conducting cannabinoid research and development for unmet medical needs. The Company works with leading experts in HIV drug development, medicinal characterization, and clinical research to develop, produce, and commercialize Phytocannabinoid-based pharmaceutical products.
Cannabis Science is currently working with CBR International to develop a Pre-IND Application to the FDA that focuses on the use of CS-S/BCC-1 topical cannabis-based preparations for the treatment of basal and squamous cell carcinomas.
Forward Looking Statements
This Press Release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. A statement containing works such as “anticipate,” “seek,” intend,” “believe,” “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “plan,” or similar phrases may be deemed “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Some or all of the events or results anticipated by these forward-looking statements may not occur. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include the future U.S. and global economies, the impact of competition, and the Company’s reliance on existing regulations regarding the use and development of cannabis-based drugs. Cannabis Science, Inc. does not undertake any duty nor does it intend to update the results of these forward-looking statements.