Business

Vyripharm wants in on Texas’ medical cannabis initiative


By Christine Hall | August 30, 2016

Texas seeks businesses to cultivate, validate and administer drugs made from cannabis compounds, which are used to treat seizures in epilepsy patients. Vyripharm Pharmaceuticals is positioning itself to play a key role in that new state health initiative.

The Texas Compassionate Use Act, signed into law on June 1, 2015, requires that the state license at least three “dispensing organizations” for these cannabis-based drugs by Sept. 1, 2017.  The law also requires that doctors prescribing the drugs join a physician registry and share information about dosages and administration.

Vyripharm Pharmaceuticals, located in the TMC Innovation Institute’s TMCx+ incubator space, hopes to play a role in this state initiative. As a state contractor, Vyripharm would assist with setting the standards and guidelines for companies involved in the Compassionate Use Act.

Vyripharm would evaluate and certify companies involved as medical cannabis growers, test and monitor the cannabis during the growth cycle of the plants, and track all the data. In this way, the company could provide a standard for quality control and assurance across the state. Second, Vyripharm’s patented drug delivery system, imaging technology and pharmaceutical drug formulations would allow for the slow release of the drug into the patient’s body and the ability to trace the precise path and location of the drug in the brain.

The technologies are applicable to many illnesses, including neurological disorders and cancers.

Recently, Vyripharm hosted a session with state lawmakers, corporate executives, Texas Medical Center doctors and scientists, and members of the community, to lay out its plan.

“Our mission is to have a comprehensive integrated system that includes a registry, pharmaceutical development and testing, so that the end user – the patient – will have a safe product,” said Elias Jackson, Ph.D., director of scientific public relations for Vyripharm.

The company will identify and partner with top-tier companies such as Switzerland-based SGS SA, a testing and verification company of medical cannabis.

“We have partnered with companies that are industry leaders, allowing us to develop a program that brings out the data necessary to move forward with the compassionate use program and beyond, while also making Texas the gold standard,” Jackson said.

Many physicians, including those at several TMC institutions, have used experimental drugs to treat epileptic seizures in children and adults. The drugs either contain low doses of THC, one of the compounds found in medical cannabis, or a cannabidiol, another compound in cannabis believed to have anti-seizure properties.

More than 186,000 cases of epilepsy are diagnosed each year, a third of them occurring in children, according to the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas.

Development of the Compassionate Use Registry online database should begin in September. Vyripharm hopes to set guidelines for dispensing organizations once the online system is complete, which is expected to be in June 2017.

Over the past three years, Vyripharm has worked hard developing these partnerships in the TMC and with private companies, said Jerry Bryant, president of Vyripharm.

“Being headquartered in the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute is why we have been able to get the research and development to this point,” he said. “We’ve been able to set our company apart from other biopharmaceutical companies in the industry by integrating traditional pharmaceuticals with botanical pharmaceuticals (cannabis/cannabinoids) that will provide what we call ‘personalized medicine.’”




Social Posts

profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

Our Dr. Cheng-En Hsieh explains why radiation-induced liver disease is an important factor to consider during #livercancer treatment: https://t.co/M18QvNAneT @cure_magazine #endcancer

48 mins ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @bcm_ocd: So excited to have Dr. Jeff Wood present the results of our NIH funded study examining personalized CBT vs. standard care CBT…

1 hour ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @BCMHoustonJobs: We're hiring! Read about our latest job opening here: Instructor - Nurse Practitioner - https://t.co/ZKY1iNNTuY #Health…

1 hour ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @BCMHouston_News: How can you tell if your baby caught a cold and how long will the symptoms last? @bcmhouston and @TexasChildrens exper…

1 hour ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Louis D. Brinner, who served as a rifleman in Europe during WWII and turns 100 Nov. 22: https://t.co/g8CQSNuLTI

1 hour ago
profile_image

Texas Children's

@TexasChildrens

At @TexasChildrens, we know all about helping children and their families through stressful times like surgeries. Take a look at these helpful tools to use as you prepare for your child's surgery: https://t.co/4wyHxbjcxe https://t.co/xBp95faWly

2 hours ago
profile_image

Rice University

@RiceUniversity

Even though this lightweight material is full of holes, it's nearly as hard as diamond and stops bullets better than solid materials: https://t.co/N1QBG6C6yz https://t.co/XKyesrwt6c

2 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

@ShirleyHelenTx We're sending good vibes your way, Shirley. Please let us know if your husband needs anything while he's here.

2 hours ago
profile_image

TexasHeartInstitute

@Texas_Heart

A "silent heart attack" is caused by ischemia, a temporary blood shortage. Sometimes the shortage causes the pain of angina pectoris. But in other cases, there is no pain. These cases are called silent ischemia, or "silent heart attacks." https://t.co/UKu4mglkKJ

2 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

After seeing photos of herself from a family celebration, Adriana Mercado was shocked at how unhealthy she looked. Now, thanks to a walking routine, she’s lost 70 pounds and improved her overall health: https://t.co/dx7z4STihG @FocusedonHealth #endcancer https://t.co/NVmGyo6r8W

3 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

Coogs, we love you ❄️SNOW❄️ much! Happy #CougarRedFriday https://t.co/d43lBGfJBX

3 hours ago
profile_image

Rice University

@RiceUniversity

@debadrita_j Thank you!

3 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

VA, Prostate Cancer Foundation seek solutions for aggressive prostate cancer https://t.co/uGXX5vPImo via #VAntagePoint

3 hours ago
profile_image

Rice University

@RiceUniversity

@debadrita_j This is beautiful! Can we share this on Instagram and credit you?

3 hours ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @UTH_CVSurgery: Congratulations to Dr. Anthony Estrera @estrera_md, honored and appointed the Hazim J. Safi, MD, Distinguished Chair in…

5 hours ago