Synthetic pot compound treats dermatitis

Trevor Chappell

Early trials show that a synthetic form of a cannabis compound is safe and effective when used as a topical treatment for dermatitis, its developer Botanix Pharmaceuticals says.

Botanix says the BTX 1204 compound, a synthetic cannabidiol, was well tolerated and caused no significant adverse effects for the 32 patients who completed a Phase 1 trial.

After four weeks, 35 per cent of patients receiving BTX 1204 to treat atopic dermatitis achieved treatment success, compared to 18 per cent of patients who received a placebo.

BTX 1204's efficacy is in line with existing products applied to the skin, which have treatment success rates of 25 per cent to 35 per cent, the company says.

Botanix executive director Matt Callahan said the results were very encouraging.

"BTX 1204's efficacy profile is in line with existing topical products whose treatment success rates are typically between 25-35 per cent," he said.

"This, combined with the excellent safety profile demonstrated to date, underlines the potential for BTX 1204 to be a very safe and exciting new treatment for the millions of patients who suffer from this disease."

Botanix says it will consider opportunities to further develop BTX 1204 through a partnering or licensing deal, or through a more advanced trial.

Atopic dermatitis is a common, relapsing, chronic inflammatory skin disorder. Patients display a chronic rash that is inflamed and itchy.

Shares in Botanix were down 2.5 cents, or 13.9 per cent, at 15.5 cents at 1251 AEST.