Two years ago, Arena reported positive phase 1b results involving etrasimod for the treatment Medical marijuana of various autoimmune diseases, including ulcerative colitis, which is currently in phase 2 studies. The early stage study demonstrated up to a 69% dose-dependent lowering in lymphocyte count from baseline, which returned to normal within one week after the conclusion of dosing. The press release suggested that this early data was consistent with the efficacy shown in successful phase 2 and 3 studies involving S1P1 modulators in multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and ulcerative colitis. In other words, etrasimod, though still in early trials, looks promising. Of course, the real buzz involves APD371 , which is an oral Crohn’s disease pain drug that targets the CB2 receptor of the naturally occurring cannabinoid receptor system in our bodies. Targeting CB2 is a smart move for Arena (and other drugmakers, for that matter) since the CB2 receptor has been shown to provide pain relief without the normal psychoactive effects observed with targeting the CB1 receptor. Its primary goal is to replace opioids, which can be addictive and even deadly. Some 20,000 people in the U.S. died from prescription opioid-related overdoses in 2015, compared to zero marijuana-based overdose deaths. A placebo-controlled phase 1b dose-escalating study involving APD371 appeared safe, with only low-grade adverse events observed. Furthermore, all doses tested, even lower doses, were deemed to be more than enough to stimulate the CB2 receptor and achieve the desired biologic effect. Replacing opioid therapies is a lofty goal, but it’s Arena’s biggest hope.
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According to both the 2016 Gallup poll and the more recent CBS News poll, an all-time record percentage of respondents — 60% and 61%, respectively — want to see marijuana legalized across the country. If pollsters focus purely on medical cannabis, favorability toward legalization shoots to somewhere in the neighborhood of 90%, depending on the source of the survey. With such growing acceptance of cannabis, marijuana stock investors fully anticipate that recreational and medical sales will continue to thrive. From a sales perspective, a recent Marijuana Business Daily report titled “Marijuana Business Factbook 2017” found that U.S. sales are expected to grow approximately 30% this year to a range of $5.1 billion to $6.1 billion, with legal recreational and medical sales combined reaching a projected $17 billion by 2021. Between 2016 and 2021 we’re looking at 300% sales growth . Investors would struggle to find more consistent growth elsewhere, which is why they’ve flocked to pot stocks. Hot marijuana stocks that are growing like a weed However, over the two-week period between July 7 and July 21, three marijuana stocks have really stood out from the pack for Marijuana Stocks their impressive percentage or market-cap gains. Let’s have a closer look at which companies have truly been “growing like a weed” recently. In spite of no major news events, the mammoth of all marijuana stocks, GW Pharmaceuticals ( NASDAQ:GWPH ), has seen its share price move higher by nearly 13% over a two-week period. On a valuation basis, we’re talking about $325 million being added in just 10 days’ time. What the heck is going on here?
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