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India Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE: IGC) Focuses on Building Phytocannabinoid-based Pharmaceutical Portfolio

  • Core operations transitioned to phytocannabinoid-based therapies
  • Four trial candidates targeting chronic pain, Alzheimer’s and other conditions
  • Unique approach combining existing therapies with cannabinoids

India Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE MKT: IGC) is developing disruptive new pharmaceutical therapies to fight a variety of ailments. Currently, the Maryland-based corporation has a pipeline of cannabis-based combination candidates under development to treat Alzheimer’s disease, pain, nausea, eating disorders, several end points of Parkinson’s, and epilepsy. Supporting this effort, the company has put together a robust intellectual property (IP) portfolio. IGC intends nothing less than to become a leading specialty provider of phytocannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals and complimentary alternative medicine (CAM) nutraceutical products. Operating in the world’s fastest growing industry (cannabis) with its novel ‘something old, something new’ approach, IGC could soon expect its valuation to rise in line with peers like Corbus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CRBP), Anavex Life Sciences (NASDAQ: AVXL) and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ZYNE).

IGC recently disposed of its low-margin iron ore and electronic trading businesses. With that divestment, the company is now focused on its long-term goal of becoming a heavyweight in the cannabis space. To achieve its objective of being a major player of cannabinoid combination therapies, IGC is actively engaged in planning the development pathways for its four product candidates.

IGC-501 heads IGC’s quartet of pipeline candidates. In September 2015, the company filed a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application for the therapy, which addresses neuropathic and arthritic pain in joints and muscles using a variety of delivery techniques. At present, such indications tend to be treated with opioids, which are notoriously addictive. However, the alarming rise and devastating effects of opioid abuse are driving the search for less pernicious alternatives. In the U.S. alone, this presents a market opportunity of around $25 billion.

A PCT filing has also been made for IGC-502, designed to treat canine seizures, which affect about five percent of dogs. Additionally, in August 2016, the company filed for a therapy to treat cachexia, which it has designated IGC-504. Also known as wasting syndrome, cachexia affects about 1.3 million in the U.S. It is a condition that’s typically associated with cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s, and HIV/AIDS.

In June 2017, IGC announced it had entered into a definitive agreement with the University of South Florida making IGC the exclusive licensee of the U.S. patent filing entitled “THC as a Potential Therapeutic Agent for Alzheimer’s Disease.” This agreement gives IGC a way to enter a huge market for what has been called ‘America’s most expensive disease.’ For 2017, Medicare and Medicaid expenditures for treating Alzheimer’s are expected to reach $175 billion. Currently, over 5.3 million Americans suffer from the condition, and that number is expected to double over the next 20 years.

The drug candidate IGC-ADI explores an alternative way delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) interacts with the human body. Several pathways have already been identified, including binding to the CB1 receptor, anti-oxidative effects, and others, but IGC-ADI works through a different molecular pathway that allows low doses of THC to bind to amyloid beta plaques and prevent those plaques from aggregating on neurons, which causes the cognitive decline that results in Alzheimer’s disease. If approved, this patent will give IGC a significant proprietary interest in a unique way to treat Alzheimer’s disease. THC is the psychotropic phytocannabinoid mainly responsible for the ‘high’ of cannabis, although, it must be noted, other cannabinoids such as cannabinol (CBN) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) are psychotropic. The treatment of Alzheimer’s is a lucrative market opportunity, and pharma companies operating in that space are experiencing significant valuations. Anavex Life Sciences, which currently has a candidate in a Phase IIa clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease, has a market cap of around $179 million.

The same is true of companies developing cannabinoid-based treatments. Corbus Pharmaceuticals, which presently has programs assessing its oral endocannabinoid-mimetic drug candidate for treating a variety of ailments, has a current market cap of around $310 million, and Zynerba, which is also developing synthetic cannabinoids, has a market cap of about $235 million at present. IGC, trading presently at $0.40, has a market cap of about $12 million, a valuation that is unlikely to stay that low for long.

For more information, visit the company’s website at

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