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MGC Pharmaceuticals’ (ASX:MXC) latest phase 2b clinical trial using medical cannabis to treat dementia has begun recruiting patients.

The trial is being carried out at the University of Notre Dame at its Institute for Health Research and will recruit 50 people aged 65 and older.

The trial will treat patients with mild dementia and will assess the potential of MXC’s CogniCannTM cannabis product to improve the quality of life in patients with mild dementia.

CogniCann is a cannabidiol (CBD) formulation that will be administered orally via a mouth spray. It has been found to reduce nausea, mild anxiety and has anti-inflammatory benefits.

The chief investigator for the trial, Amanda Timler, told The West Australian that “medicinal cannabis works well with a lot behavioural and neuro-psychotic symptoms associated with dementia, such as aggression and agitation”.

According to Health Direct there are more than 400,000 people in Australia living with dementia.

It is the second leading cause of death for Australian’s and recently became the leading cause of death in Australian women. The estimated cost in Australia of dementia is $15 billion.

Dementia has been a challenging space with many researchers and pharmaceutical companies failing in the development of new treatments and many now changing tact to focus on newer novel approaches.

Whilst MXC’s CogniCann treatment does not aim to cure dementia, nor find the root cause, it could offer a source of relief to the 50 million people globally suffering with dementia if it can improve the quality of life.

MXC’s latest commercialisation and strategy update noted that recruitment had begun last week with the trial expected to get underway in 2019.

Read more: MXC supercharges commercial strategy with retargeted focus on two core business divisions

This is the company’s first clinical trial and supports its ‘seed to pharmacy’ strategy to become a leading manufacturer of medical cannabis products that are developed by its R&D division that has the primary function “to ensure MXC remains at the forefront of pharmaceutical innovation of cannabis for medicinal use.”

This content is produced by Star Investing in commercial partnership with MGC Pharmaceuticals. This content does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.