Skip to main content
Local News

UW Professor Discovers New Cannabinoid Compound That Slows Cancer Cell Growth

By November 20, 2018No Comments

The medical application of cannabis has been a calling card for marijuana legalization advocates for years, although to date there are just two FDA-approved medications on the market containing cannabinoids.

However, an exciting licensing agreement between the UW and Pascal Biosciences, Inc. means that a cancer treatment derived from cannabinoids could become FDA-approved as soon as 2019.

The agreement, negotiated by the UW’s innovation hub CoMotion, licenses the production, use, and sale of a cannabinoid-based compound, ST-403 (ST), to Pascal Biosciences, a Canadian drug development company with a local subsidiary. ST-403 was developed at the UW by professor of pharmacology and psychiatry Dr. Nephi Stella, head of Stella Lab and founder and co-director of the UW Center for Cannabis Research.

Stella first became interested in the medical applications of cannabinoids in 2000, shortly after beginning his work at the UW. His interest was piqued by a paper documenting the inhibitory effects of THC on brain tumor growth, specifically glioblastoma multiforme and melanoma metastases, two forms of cancer for which few treatments currently exist.