CLARENCE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT:XXII), a plant biotechnology company that is focused on tobacco harm reduction and cannabis research, announced today that it has signed a collaborative research agreement with The Dent Neurosciences Research Center. The agreement features a clinical trial that will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to image the brains of smokers. Participants will smoke 22nd Century’s proprietary Very Low Nicotine (VLN) cigarettes, or conventional cigarettes, which will allow scientists to study both the immediate and longer-term effects of nicotine on brain activity.
Recent clinical trial findings suggest that a significant physiological change occurs in the brains of smokers as early as 6 days after switching to Very Low Nicotine cigarettes (Donny et al., 2015; Mercincavage et al., 2016). Over the course of the Dent trial, researchers will study changes in the physiology of the brains of VLN smokers. As a result, scientists hope to identify changes in the brain that correlate with changes in nicotine addiction. A non-invasive marker of addiction status at the level of brain activity would be an invaluable tool for future studies on nicotine addiction.
The differences in brain activity after smoking a single VLN cigarette as opposed to smoking a conventional cigarette will provide 22nd Century scientists with important insights into the mechanisms of how the Company’s proprietary VLN cigarettes affect the physiology of smokers’ brains.
“The identification of changes in brain activity associated with smoking our VLN cigarettes compared to smoking regular cigarettes will be an important step forward,” explained Dr. Paul Rushton, 22nd Century’s Vice President for Plant Biotechnology.
“Clinical trials show that 22nd Century’s Very Low Nicotine SPECTRUM® cigarettes are associated with significant reductions in consumption and increases in quit attempts,” explained Dr. Laszlo Mechtler, Medical Director at The Dent Neurosciences Research Center. “We are very excited that this project will study the brain’s response to Very Low Nicotine cigarettes and may identify exactly how Very Low Nicotine cigarettes work to alter behavior in smokers.”
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company focused on technology which allows it to increase or decrease the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in cannabis plants through genetic engineering and plant breeding. The Company’s primary mission in tobacco is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. The Company’s primary mission in cannabis is to develop proprietary cannabis strains for important new medicines and agricultural crops. Visit www.xxiicentury.com and www.botanicalgenetics.com for more information.
About Dent Neurologic Institute/Dent Imaging Centers
As a national leader in diagnostic imaging for more than 30 years, Dent’s long-standing experience with advanced imaging techniques qualifies physicians and medical research to advance in the science and art of diagnostic imaging. Dent Neurologic Institute is among the largest autonomous neurologic centers in the United States. Dent’s comprehensive neuroscience practice includes a full range of neurological, psychological and psychiatric services. Its research team manages approximately 50 projects per year, including ongoing collaborative work with local and national universities using “functional” methods to better understand brain processes underlying neurologic and psychiatric disorders.
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