Israeli company to develop plant-based cancer treatment

A collaboration between the Israeli company Cannabotech and Haifa University researchers may lead to an improved method for killing pancreatic and colon cancer cells.

Medical cannabis (photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)
Medical cannabis
(photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)

Israeli biomedical company Cannabotech won the exclusive use of a patent to develop drugs based on fungal extract, which may contribute to killing cancer cells in patients with pancreatic and colon cancer.

The fungus, Cyathus striatus - commonly known as the "fluted bird's nest" due to its resemblance to a miniature bird's nest with numerous tiny "eggs" - is being researched by the lab of Professor Fouad Fares an expert in molecular biology and cancer research at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Haifa. 
Cannabotech and Haifa University's economic company Carmel signed a deal in which Cannabotech will combine cannabinoids with the fungal extract in what may be effective in killing pancreatic and colon cancer cells, as studies have shown that Cyathus striatus extract may potentially reduce the extent of cancerous tumors in animals, without damaging healthy tissues.
The two companies hope that their combined products eventually will be able to improve treatment in human cancers as well.
Cannabotech specializes in combining active agents from cannabis and fungi that work both on the endocannabinoid system and the immune system and recently reported that one of its products assisted in killing breast cancer cells by up to six times the amount of current treatments. 
Haifa University (credit: Wikimedia Commons)Haifa University (credit: Wikimedia Commons)