India Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE: IGC) is a first mover in developing a portfolio of products using cannabis-based “combination therapies” for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, cachexia, pain and other conditions.
Through a definitive agreement with the University of South Florida, IGC is the exclusive licensee of the U.S. patent filing entitled “THC as a Potential Therapeutic Agent for Alzheimer’s Disease.” Known as America’s most expensive disease with an estimated cost to the U.S. economy of $236 billion, Alzheimer’s currently effects more than 5.3 million Americans and over the next 20 years the number of those afflicted with the disease is expected to double. By acquiring the exclusive right to this patent filing, IGC is protecting a potential cannabis-based blockbuster treatment.
The Company has also filed combination therapy formulations for the treatment of epilepsy and cachexia. About 50 million people worldwide are affected by epilepsy and about 1.3 million in the U.S. experience cachexia associated with cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS and other progressive illnesses. Cancer-induced anorexia/cachexia is responsible for 20% of all cancer deaths. IGC-502 indicated for seizures and IGC-504 indicated for cachexia are unique combination therapies that, if proven out by clinical trials, are expected to treat medical refractory epilepsy and eating disorders respectively, with lower side effects than conventional mono therapies.
Successful treatment of pain represents an enormous market opportunity as well with the national cost of health care due to pain ranging from $560 billion to $635 billion. In addition, the health care cost attributed to the abuse of prescription opioids, closely related to pain, is approximately $25 billion. IGC’s patent filing (IGC-501) is a cannabis-based formulation addressing neuropathic and arthritic pain in joints and muscles using a variety of delivery techniques. The Company anticipates commencing clinical trials, and hopes that through its focus on combination therapy it can formulate and commercialize cannabinoid compounds as an alternative to long-term addictive opioid treatments.
IGC’s strategy is exciting and unique in that it is aiming to become a leader in the phytocannabinoid-based combination therapy specialty pharmaceutical sector. This first mover advantage can potentially be formidable as it begins clinical trials and further builds its patent portfolio. “The development of combination therapies utilizing cannabis represents a large, unique opportunity in this emerging specialty-pharmaceutical sector. Securing FDA approval for combination therapy is believed to be significantly faster and less expensive than new drug applications. As a result, we believe that we can bring our cannabis-based pharmaceutical products to market in both an expeditious and cost-effective manner,” stated Ram Mukunda, CEO.
IGC has recently exited its legacy businesses. An impressive and experienced team, led by Mr. Ram Mukunda, CEO, directs IGC.
Mr. Mukunda holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Maryland (UMD). He founded and served as Chairman and CEO of Startec Global Communications, an international telecommunications carrier focused on providing voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) services to emerging economies. Startec, the first pure play international long distance carrier, went public on NASDAQ. He has won a number of awards, including the 2013 University of Maryland International Alumnus of the year award. Mr. Mukunda serves as an Emeritus member on the Board of Visitors at the University of Maryland, School of Engineering, and has served as Council Member at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Belfer Center of Science and International Affairs. Mr. Mukunda and Dr. Krishna are the originators of all the IGC patent filings.
Dr. Ranga Krishna, Senior Advisor, is a Board Certified Neurologist with a sub specialty in Epilepsy surgery. He is the Director of Neurology at the New York Community Hospital affiliated with New York Presbyterian Weil Cornell Medical College and the Director of Stroke Service at the New York Community Hospital affiliated with New York Presbyterian Weil Cornell Medical College. He is the Medical Director and Chairman of Total Neuro Care, P.C. He is CEO of International Pharma Trials, Inc., which assists U.S. pharmaceutical companies perform Phase II clinical trials. Dr. Krishna is a member of several organizations, including the American Academy of Neurology and the Medical Society of the State of New York. He is also a member of the Medical Arbitration panel for the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board and a Founding Member of the New York State Pain Society. Dr. Krishna was trained at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center (1991-1994) and New York University (1994-1996). Dr. Krishna and Mr. Mukunda are the originators of all the IGC patent filings.