Study Suggests Epidermolysis Bullosa Improved with CBD Topical Cream Treatment

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More than half of patients recruited for this research showed improvements in wound healing, and a significant number had greater wound stability.

Elena Pope, MD, MSc

Credit: SickKids.ca

Elena Pope, MD, MSc

Credit: SickKids.ca

The biopharmaceutical company Avicanna Inc., known to specialize in cannabinoid-based products, announced that a newly-completed real-world evidence study had seen several positive changes in patients with epidermolysis bullosa (EB) utilizing its RHO Phyto Ultra CBD Topical Cream.1

EB is a rare genetic condition which is characterized by patients impacted having fragile skin which erupts in blisters and is damaged easily. The severity of this skin disorder shows wide variation, with some patients reporting mild skin involvement and many others reporting severe multisystem issues which can reduce life expectancy substantially.2,3

There is not a cure or disease-modifying treatment currently available for EB patients, and as such care is mostly aimed at optimization of wound care, symptom management, and looking at some of the secondary complications. The incidence of EB within the US is approximately 19 per million live births, and there is a prevalence of 8 per million.4

This new study by Avicanna into the topical cream option for EB was overseen by Elena Pope, MD, MSc, the head of dermatology at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The investigators focused on evaluating RHO Phyto Ultra CBD Topical Cream’s efficacy and safety among those with the skin disease EB.

“The use of RHO Phyto branded Ultra CBD Topical Cream is a novel topical therapeutic option for EB patients, providing symptom relief and potentially aiding in wound healing with good tolerability,” Pope said in a statement. “Further prospective studies are needed to substantiate these findings.”1

The study itself was a retrospective observational design in which the research team sought to assess individual responses. Specifically, these responses to the topical cream would relate to reports on pain, healing of wounds, and itchiness, with the investigators implementing images and documenting the impacts of the 3% CBD cream on EB patients.

There were 20 participants included as study subjects, with 14 male patients and 6 female patients as well as an average age of 17.3 years. These patients encompassed the various subtypes of EB, which were simplex (30%), dystrophic (60%), and junctional (10%).

Dystrophic EB (DEB) is a notable subtype and is known as ‘butterfly disease’ due to its delicate nature akin to a butterfly’s wing. It specifically results from a mutation in patients’ COL7A1 gene, a gene which provides instructions for producing collagen VII. This collagen is a protein which helps to anchor layers of skin together.5

During the course of the CBD cream study on EB patients, following a month of application each day, the investigators reported that 55% of subjects involved in the research showed improvements in their wound healing, and 45% were noted as having improved wound stability.

In addition, the research team reported that 65% and 50% of subjects using the CBD cream noted reductions in pruritus and pain, respectively. Among those evaluated by the team, 45% ended up continuing applying the cream for 6 months.

“We are pleased to see the Study reporting early positive results for RHO Phyto branded Ultra CBD Topical Cream in a patient population that continues to seek treatment for its catastrophic condition,” Karolina Urban, PhD, Avicanna’s executive vice president of medical affairs, said in a statement. “These results are critical in helping guide us in the next steps in the further development of our medical products and pharmaceutical pipeline.”1

These findings on the CBD cream are slated for presentation by Camila Sofia Arriaga Egnen, from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, at Avicanna’s symposium taking place on May 13th.

References

  1. Avicanna Announces Results of Study in Patients with Epidermolysis Bullosa. Avicanna Inc. May 13, 2024. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2024/05/13/2880330/0/en/Avicanna-Announces-Results-of-Study-in-Patients-with-Epidermolysis-Bullosa.html. Date accessed: May 20, 2024.
  2. Fine J-D. Inherited epidermolysis bullosa. Orphanet J Rare Dis. BioMed Central; 2010 May 28;5(1):12.
  3. MSc EPM, MSc IL-CM, MD JM, MD AM, PhD GSM, PhD RB, et al. A consensus approach to wound care in epidermolysis bullosa. Journal of American Dermatology. Elsevier Inc; 2012 Mar 1;67(5):1–14.
  4. Mellerio JE, Weiner M, Denyer JE, Pillay EI, LUCKY AW, Bruckner A, et al. Medical management of epidermolysis bullosa: Proceedings of the IInd International Symposium on Epidermolysis Bullosa, Santiago, Chile, 2005. International Journal of Dermatology. Blackwell Publishing Ltd; 2007 Aug 1;46(8):795–800.
  5. Smith T. Butterfly Disease: A Visible Condition in Need of a Cure. HCPLive. March 31, 2023. https://www.hcplive.com/view/butterfly-disease-a-visible-condition-in-need-of-a-cure. Date accessed: May 20, 2024.
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