Though Cara Therapeutics is still a traditional drug developer, they have recently sold marijuana stock. In the United States, 28 states have passed medical and recreational marijuana use. A company like Cara Therapeutics no now has a financial opportunity and a higher chance of success to promote a medical marijuana alternative to opioids.
Also, the amount of people addicted to opiate-based pain killers and the related death rate has become a national epidemic, making the push and need for alternatives all the more serious.
Who are Cara Therapeutics?
Cara Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq CARA), is a biopharmaceutical company, based in Stamford Connecticut. Their overall mission is to change how neuropathic pain–both acute and chronic pain–and uremic pruritus (severe itch) are treated and medicated. Their primary medical focus has been on their other product, CR845. CR845 is an opioid that focuses on the central nervous system using Kappa Opioid Receptor Agonists (KORAs). Cara Therapeutics are in further or end stages of clinical trials of both oral CR845 and IV CR845.
What is CR701?
CR701 is still in the preparatory clinical stage, but Cara Therapeutics plans to use Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists. Recent research into cannabis has led to the recent discovery of an endogenous system of ligands involved in a range of human physiological responses, including pain and inflammation.
The main ligands for this system are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Through this system, CR701, using cannabinoid (CB) agonists, will activate CB receptors, most importantly CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are in the brain. CB2 receptors are located in peripheral tissues, such as immune cells (i.e. leukocytes) and mast cells. These cells have been shown to be involved in our body’s pain and inflammatory responses.
In March 2017, when Cara Therapeutics announced their plan to explore medical marijuana as an alternative to opioid-based pain killers, their marijuana stock surged by 15%, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The catalyst for this success was the clinical trial results from Part A of trial 2 out of 4 for their other drug, CR845, a KORA-based opioid.
What is CR701 For?
CR701 is specifically designed for neuropathic pain, chronic pain, and post-operative pain. CR701, as stated, is still in the preclinical trial phase, so it is still using a rodent model. The hope, according to the Motley Fool, is that one day medical cannabis will replace opioid-based pain killers entirely, and avoid the related side effects.
As American public opinion shifts and marijuana is seen as more favorable, nearly any stocks mentioned and associated with marijuana sales or marijuana medical research has financially benefited. This is solely from the prospect of low-risk solutions, as many are still in early phases of testing.