Health-Care Issues at Center Stage

The race to find a vaccine to treat the dreaded coronavirus is moving into overdrive, and on Tuesday, another entrant put its best foot forward.

Accordingly, health-care related issues in New York gained 0.7% , while in Canada, the sector actually stepped back 1%.

Seattle-based Pascal Biosciences Inc. (OTC:BIMUF) claims to have discovered certain cannabinoids that block replication of SARS-CoV-2, which supposedly causes COVID-19. In a cell-based assay, the best cannabinoid had potency similar to remdesivir, a recently approved drug from Gilead that improves recovery time for COVID-19 patients. This suggests a Pascal-identified cannabinoid may have the potential to limit the severity and progression of the disease.

To contribute to research efforts during the coronavirus pandemic, Pascal scientists searched for compounds, including cannabinoids, that have activity against SARS-CoV-2 in a cell-based assay. These results will be further confirmed with additional assays, leading to clinical trials which Pascal hopes to begin within a year. Pascal believes it is the first to identify a cannabinoid that directly inhibits the virus, and the company has applied for patent protection for this unique discovery.

BIMUF shares vaulted 5.7 cents, or 29.6% by noon EDT Tuesday, to 25.23 cents, on volume of 37,000 shares.

Perhaps a bit less spectacular, but still in the same area, Toronto-based WeedMD Inc. (TSX-Venture:WMD) has become one of the first licensed producers (LP) to have its products and strains included in the University Health Networks’ first-of-its-kind Medical Cannabis Real-World Evidence Study.

UHN is launching nation-wide clinical trials studying cannabis use on chronic pain, issues with sleep, anxiety or depression. Participating patients can select medical cannabis products via the Medical Cannabis by Shoppers portal, and registered under the TruTrace Technologies’ medical cannabis verification program

WMD shares gained half a cent, or 1.1%, to 47 cents, on volume surpassing 25,000 shares.