Andira Advances Lead Cannabinoid Compositions for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Through a Collaborative Research Agreement with Canada Research Chair in Oncology Dr. Karla Williams at the University of British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaAndira Pharmaceuticals announces it will carry out pharmacologic characterization of its lead compounds for metastatic breast cancer through a collaborative research program with the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver.

Leading the research program will be Dr. Karla Williams, PhD, Canada Research Chair in Oncology, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar, and Assistant Professor at the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The effects of proprietary cannabinoid compositions will be characterized within live breast cancer tumors and metastases using a specialized research system housed in the Williams Laboratory.

The endeavor aims to validate the pharmacologic effects of the lead compounds in the estrogen receptor positive (ER+) form of metastatic breast cancer. The program will also explore how the cannabinoid compounds may fit within the clinical therapy setting by assessing combination treatment with approved chemotherapy agents.

One in eight women in North America will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and one in three of those diagnosed will progress to metastatic breast cancer. Over 3.77 million women in North America live with breast cancer and almost 50,000 per year succumb to it.

“While treatments for many forms of breast cancer have improved considerably, that is not the case for metastatic breast cancer. Professor Williams’ research expertise in this field is truly world class and we are privileged to have her leading this groundbreaking work,” says Andira Pharmaceuticals founder and CEO, Dr. Dana Lambert, PhD.

Cannabinoids have been shown to slow cancer cell proliferation, generate cancer cell apoptosis (programed cell death) and prevent angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels required for tumor growth) in certain cell lines and animal research models of breast cancer.

Dr. Lambert explains, “When it comes to anti-cancer activity, published research tells us that not all cannabinoids are equal. We’ve seen effects that are encouraging from certain unique cannabinoid compositions and now we are aiming to validate those results using a specialized system – one that can show in vivo treatment outcomes for human breast tumors and metastases in real time. This important research program represents a cornerstone in our drive to advance these lead formulations to market as approved prescription therapies.”

Dr. Karla Williams serves as the Canada Research Chair in Oncology at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). She is also an assistant professor at University of British Colombia Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Williams’ research aims to improve breast cancer patient outcomes through the development of novel strategies to detect and treat breast cancer.

Dr. Williams says, “I am very excited about the potential for this project to advance our understanding of cannabinoid effects on breast cancer. The model employed by my lab to assess various compounds, and combination therapies, will allow us to identify and characterize the candidate molecules showing greatest therapeutic potential.” Following completion of the study, expected to last eighteen months, Andira intends to apply for Investigational New Drug (IND) status with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate clinical trials.

In addition to its focus on the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, Andira has developed a distinct patent-pending formulation, Selva-AP25T4, intended for the management of pain associated with the disease. Results of the next Selva-AP25T4 clinical study, examining self-reported pain in breast carcinoma, are expected to publish in the final quarter of 2023.


Media Contact: Nishi Whiteley

About Andira Pharmaceuticals: Andira is a private healthcare company leveraging natural drug substances to improve lives and address critical illnesses. The company is advancing urgently needed solutions for highly prevalent medical indications in three areas: hospital acquired infection, oncology and dermatology. Learn more at