Medical Marijuana, Inc. owns approximately 16.7% of Kannalife Sciences™


Kannalife™ Sciences, Inc., founded in 2010, is a biomedical company focused on the research and development of novel treatments designed to capitalize on the antioxidant and neuroprotective properties of cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD). 

The scientific team at Kannalife™ is comprised of dedicated clinicians and biochemists, all of whom have a strong background in phyto-pharmaceutical and biological sciences with a well established track record of developing drugs from plant sources. The scientific team collectively has over 75+ years of research and pharmaceutical experience and have been published in over 300 notable journal publications and hold inventorships in over 65 patents.

The company is currently conducting research and development utilizing U.S. Patent #6,630,507 for targeted drug candidates to treat the oxidative and degenerative brain and nerve diseases hepatic encephalopathy (HE), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) at the Bucks County Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Doylestown, PA. 

Kannalife™ is moving forward with its plan to design a novel new drug compound for the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy (HE). HE is a neurodegenerative disease caused by cirrhosis of the liver, or similar liver conditions. Kannalife™ believes its target drug candidate will be comprised of one or more cannabinoid(s) for use and delivery in humans as FDA approved drugs. There is a large market for an effective HE treatment in the U.S.; there are currently over 1.5 million sufferers of hepatic encephalopathy in the United States.

Kannalife™ also plans to develop a cannabinoid-based treatment for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a neurodegenerative disease of the brain and is associated with repeated head traumas like concussions. CTE has been most commonly found in professional athletes participating in contact sports who have experienced repetitive brain trauma. It has also been found in soldiers exposed to a blast or a concussive injury.

Finally, the company’s newest efforts are aimed at developing a drug addressing chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). CIPN occurs because chemotherapy and other cancer treatments can cause damage to the nerves away from the brain and spinal cord, with symptoms including tingling in the extremities, burning pain, decreased sensation, and increased sensitivity to touch, temperature, and more. In some cases, nerve damage can be permanent. 

Neurodegenerative diseases have historically been difficult to treat, and there are no universally accepted treatments for the range of conditions associated with these diseases. There is an imperative need for both preventative measures and prescription treatments that are able to address the core causes of neurodegenerative diseases. This creates an urgency for Kannalife™ Sciences to develop unique and innovative new cannabinoid-based drugs to improve the quality of life of patients with neurodegenerative diseases.



 Developed a synthetic molecule related to cannabidiol called KLS-13019, which is 50 times more potent and 400 times less toxic than naturally occurring cannabidiol. Read More.

 Published its research findings around Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) in the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience. Read More.




Dean Petkanas is a corporate finance and executive management professional with over 25 years of investment banking and capital markets experience.

In 2010 Mr. Petkanas co-founded Kannalife Sciences, Inc. and for the past 8 years was principally responsible for the creation and execution of the Company’s business model, including the licensing of US Patent #6630507 from the National Institutes of Health for disease indications Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE) and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). 

Mr. Petkanas is a co-inventor of US Patent #9611213 “Novel Functionalized 1,3 Benzene Diols and Their Method of Use for the Treatment of Hepatic Encephalopathy”.Mr. Petkanas’ background in pharmaceutical extends to his work as investment banker and subsequently V.P. of Business Development for Xechem International, Inc. where he was principally responsible for Xechem’s IPO and EXIM Bank rounds of financing. Mr. Petkanas was involved with Xechem from 1992 to 2007. While at Xechem, he was involved in the financing of Xechem’s lead target drug candidate (generic paclitaxel) and later on from 2003 to 2007, was the lead petitioner for Xechem International in steering their federal anti-trust lawsuit against Bristol-Myers-Squibb for their illegal monopoly of the drug market for the anti-cancer drug, Taxol®. Mr. Petkanas also was an integral part of the development team that named, trademarked and commercialized Hemoxin (Nicosan), a phyto-pharmaceutical compound for the treatment of Sickle Cell disease.


Thoma Kikis is an entrepreneur, media and entertainment executive for over 17 years. 

Prior to co-founding Kannalife, Mr. Kikis executive produced the comedy film It’s a Disaster, starring Julia Stiles, David Cross and America Ferrera and co-produced the award winning film Alps by the innovative Oscar® nominated director Yorgos Lanthimos. He was a co-founder and Executive Vice President of Ovie Entertainment. He previously produced Darkon, a real-life role play documentary about fictional action characters similar to a real life game of Dungeons and Dragons. Darkon was purchased for remake by Brad Pitt’s Plan B and Paramount Pictures and the documentary was distributed by IFC.

Previously he has also worked with Viacom, MTV Interactive, redesigned MTV.com, The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Icon Medialab, Teachers College, Columbia University, and TCI/Teachers College Innovations among others.

Mr. Kikis was compelled by his father (who suffered with Hepatic Encephalopathy) and cousin Dr. Steven Kazianis PhD, (who suffered and died of Brain Cancer) to find treatments for neurodegenerative related diseases and has made it his life’s goal in finding treatments for diseases that affect the brain.

Mr. Kikis hold a Bachelor of Science in Communications Management from New York University.


Dr. Kinney is a medicinal chemist and entrepreneur with greater than 25 years of experience in large pharmaceutical (Wyeth, Johnson & Johnson), biotechnology (Magainin), and non-profit (Blumberg Institute) research and development. He has demonstrated expertise in drug design; synthesis; lead optimization of peptides, small molecules, and natural products; and is inventor of three molecules that advanced to human clinical trials – Perzinfotel (CNS disorders and pain), Squalamine (oncology and AMD), and Trodusquemine (obesity).

Currently, Dr. Kinney is Director of the Natural Product Discovery Institute and Chief Scientific Officer at KannaLife Sciences. His scientific contributions include more than 70 publications and presentations; and inventorship on 38 issued U.S. patents.

Dr. Kinney is a co-inventor of Kannalife’s recent US Patent #9611213 “Novel Functionalized 1,3 Benzene Diols and Their Method of Use for the Treatment of Hepatic Encephalopathy.”


Mr. Corrao was formerly a founder and CFO of Strikeforce Technologies, Inc., a publicly traded software development and services company specializing in the development of a suite of integrated computer network security. In addition to the ten years of his service at Strikeforce, Mr. Corrao has spent numerous years in the public accounting arena specializing in certified auditing, SEC accounting, corporate taxation and financial planning. Mr. Corrao’s background also includes numerous years on Wall Street with Merrill Lynch, Spear Leeds & Kellogg and Greenfield Arbitrage Partners. While on Wall Street Mr. Corrao was involved in several IPO’s and has been a guiding influence in several start up companies. Prior to joining StrikeForce, he was the Director of Sales at Applied Digital Solutions from December 2000 through December 2001. Mr. Corrao was the Vice President of Sales at Advanced Communications Sciences from March 1997 though December 2000. Mr. Corrao has a B.S. from CUNY.


Kannalife™ Sciences is currently researching cannabinoids, specifically CBD, to understand how they can be utilized in the development of novel treatments for a range of neurodegenerative diseases, including hepatic encephalopathy, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy. They have created the synthetic cannabinoid, KLS-13019, which is 50 times more potent and 400 times less toxic than naturally occurring cannabidiol, in the hopes of using it in the development of safe and effective new treatments for a range of neurological conditions.


Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a condition in which the liver can no longer remove toxins from the blood, resulting in a loss of brain function. HE is sometimes the result of hepatitis or the abuse of alcohol or painkillers. When the liver cannot adequately protect the body, toxins like ammonia can build up in the bloodstream, causing damage to the brain and nervous system. 

Kannalife™ Sciences is exploring ways to use the neuroprotective properties of cannabinoids to help combat this brain damage. Although HE is considered a rare disease with fewer than 200,000 yearly cases, the cost to treat it in the U.S. alone is estimated up to $7 billion per year.


Similarly, Kannalife™ is developing cannabinoid based treatments for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Caused by repeated injuries to the head, CTE is linked to contact sports and has been especially prevalent among NFL players and women’s soccer players. During head injuries, nerve axons become damaged, hindering cell-to-cell communication and causing the cells in the brain to waste away. 

Cannabinoids can be used to reduce the oxidative stress following head injuries and reduce the swelling that results in the brain. Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed in post-mortem examinations of the brain, making it difficult to determine a population of CTE sufferers. Studies showed the overall prevalence of CTE in football players at 3.7% of the total population. Kannalife™ is exploring preventative as well as post-diagnosis solutions for CTE based on cannabinoids. 


The company’s newest efforts are aimed at developing a treatment for chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). CIPN occurs because chemotherapy and other cancer treatments can cause damage to the nerves away from the brain and spinal cord, with symptoms including tingling in the extremities, burning pain, decreased sensation, and increased sensitivity to touch, temperature, and more. In some cases, nerve damage can be permanent. 

No medication or supplement has been shown to definitively prevent CIPN, and it can be disabling side effect of cancer treatment. The global market for the treatment of symptoms associated with CIPN is expected to hit $1.88 bill by 2024. Kannalife is targeting clinical trials for KLS-13019, its proprietary CBD-like molecule, as a therapeutic for CIPN to begin in Q2 2020.


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