Endocannabinoids Effective in Lupus Model

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Zylö Therapeutics’ patented Nanopod™ aerogel delivery technology was used to demonstrate the efficacy of endocannabinoids in a model of cutaneous lupus in a study presented last month at the meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.

There is growing evidence that the manipulation of the endocannabinoid system has immunomodulatory activity that could be clinically translated to a broad range of cutaneous and systemic inflammatory diseases, although data are limited especially with respect to topical administration. The presented study evaluated local application of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA), using Zylö’s Nanopod™ delivery particles, in lupus-prone mice. 

Mice treated with AEA-releasing Nanopods™ (twice per week for 10 weeks) had significantly fewer and smaller skin lesions compared to both control arms. Interestingly, this improvement was noted both where the Nanopods™ were directly applied and where they were not applied, notably the face/snout region. At the time of sacrifice, whereby the mice were scored blindly using a modified CLASI tool, mice treated with AEA-releasing Nanopods™ had significantly fewer macroscopic lesions (p<0.0001), and significant histologic improvement was seen as well (p<0.05).

Together, these data demonstrate that topical administration with AEA-releasing Nanopods™ significantly prevents the development of CLE in a well-established animal model of lupus. This work also reinforces the rationale of targeting the endocannabinoid system for autoimmune rheumatic diseases and the utility of using the Nanopod™ delivery system to enhance efficacy.

Adam Friedman MD, Professor of Dermatology at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences and co-author of the abstract, commented: “The Nanopod™ technology improved cutaneous delivery of the cannabinoid studied, which typically has poor skin penetration, and allowed for sustained release that significantly impacted the therapeutic effect in an animal model of cutaneous lupus, highlighting the potential of this class of active agents and the delivery system as well.”


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