As part of their plans to collaborate with the NRL on concussion solutions, Impression Healthcare (ASX: IHL) has appointed NRL star James Graham to its advisory board to assist with the development of their medicinal cannabis products.
In particular, Graham will offer advice on ‘real world’ aspects of the clinical program for IHL-216A, a cannabinoid drug being developed to treat concussion and traumatic brain injuries.
“Having been involved in contact sport all my adult life, it is almost impossible not to have an interest in concussion and its possible side effects,” said Graham.
“Many times, I have questioned the long-term health implications and what, if anything, I can do about it. Having biomarkers checked and performing cognitive tests is an annual occurrence, along with all the other mandatory protocols.”
Beyond advising on the clinical program Graham will work with Impression Healthcare to develop an arrangement with the NRL for the use of IHL-216A throughout the league, as well as develop its player wellbeing program.
“I have been impressed with James’ extensive knowledge of many aspects of traumatic brain injury and he shares our strong view that we must make changes to ameliorate the symptoms of, and damage caused by, concussions in contact sports,” said Impression Healthcare CEO, Joel Latham.
“By treating concussion with IHL-216A in the days following those injuries, IHL will have effectively created a CTE prevention plan that lessens the effects of TBI in the short term, whilst potentially lessening the patient’s risk of developing CTE”.
At present there are currently no FDA/TGA-approved pharmaceutical drugs to treat traumatic brain injuries which cause cell death over time. As of 2017, TBI accounted for more than 10 millions deaths or hospitalisations annually.
IHL-216 is designed to be administered in the immediate period after a primary brain injury to prevent further development of brain injuries with Impression aiming to commence trials on 50 MMA fighters once COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
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