‘We’re ahead of the pack’ in cannabinoid therapies

By taking a risk in 2014 as well as also building a company around one particular manmade cannabinoid, drugmaker Corbus Pharmaceuticals is usually right now ahead of its larger peers on numerous key treatments, CEO Yuval Cohen said Thursday.

“We are a tiny company, very nimble, although because we took the risk numerous years ago — whereas big pharma, remember, they’re slower, they’re more risk-averse — we’re actually ahead of the pack,” Cohen told CNBC in an interview with Jim Cramer.

Though cannabis has largely been seen as taboo by big pharma until recently, some of the larger names are waking up to the medical benefits its derivatives can provide.

Cohen specifically referenced a 2017 deal by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals with clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Bird Rock Bio to explore targeting cannabinoid receptors inside liver to treat NASH, or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. On Tuesday, Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy told Cramer his cannabis producer struck a deal that has a division of Novartis.

although Cohen took special care to identify Lenabasum, Corbus’ flagship cannabinoid, by the plant-derived treatments many companies are promoting inside heat of the cannabis craze.

Lenabasum is usually a synthetic compound that will targets a network of neurotransmitters inside human body called the endocannabinoid system to temper inflammation as well as also fibrosis. This kind of is usually currently in clinical trials for dermatomyositis, cystic fibrosis as well as also systemic sclerosis, which affects 0,000 patients inside United States.

“None of our drugs is usually similar to the plant-derived cannabinoids — they’re known as phytocannabinoids. Our drugs are manmade. They’re rationally designed,” he told Cramer on “Mad Money.” “So the one thing they’re not, for example, is usually they’re not psychoactive. They don’t change your mood or the way you feel.”

Earlier Thursday, Corbus announced a deal to buy the rights to 0 endocannabinoid-focused compounds by Jenrin Discovery, a private company funded by BioAdvance that will develops cannabinoid compounds to treat metabolic diseases.

although even though Corbus, which receives funding by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as well as also the National Institute of Health, did not disclose the cost of the deal, Cohen said the cost shouldn’t taper investors’ enthusiasm about Corbus.

“Our cash position is usually strong,” he told Cramer. “as well as also one of the nice things about the deal is usually This kind of’s fairly back-ended. In additional words, This kind of’s very generous towards Jenrin, although more inside later stages rather than the earlier stages. as well as also so we’re sharing the risk.”

Shares of Corbus ended Thursday’s trading session up 53.62 percent at $7.95 a share.

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