PAO Group, Inc., a biopharmaceutical technology company that offers medicinal cannabis solutions, announced their intentions on Friday to “aggressively pursue international research partnerships” – with their eye specifically set on Israel – to advance the development of their respiratory cannabis treatment RespRx, according to a company statement.As reasoning, the company notably mentioned an ongoing in vivo study – currently being carried out by Israeli cannabis research and development firms Eybna and CannaSoul – that is testing the benefits of using cannabis terpenes to treat inflammatory infections, such as COVID-19 and quell the cytokine storms that accompany the novel infection. A study which the companies have boasted promising initial results for.”Israel is recognized as one of the leading cannabis research centers in the world,” the PAO Group said, noting the Israeli study. “Parallel to PAOG’s own research on its proprietary cannabis extract for the treatment of COVID-19, a study in Israel was recently released with findings that [terpenes] in cannabis showed efficacy in treating COVID-19.”PAO Group’s patented RespRx treatment is used to target respiratory-related illnesses such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as well as COVID-19 via the use of a cannabis inhaler – for lack of a better term – that introduces the company’s patented CBD compound directly into the lungs to treat the respiratory disease or infection.PAO Group recently acquired the proprietary formulations for the RespRx compound, now registered under US Patent No. 9,199,960, with future hopes of an Israeli partnership to sharpen the RespRx blade.While a year ago, connecting medical solutions to both COPD and a coronavirus infection would probably not have even been a thought let alone an afterthought, today the two diseases go hand in hand for leading pharmaceutical developers. And considering the market for COVID-19 solutions has proven to be lucrative, each of these companies are currently racing against one another, trying to come up with the next one-stop solution to treat the deadly respiratory illness, and its counterparts such as COPD – including pharmaceutical giants such as AstraZeneca, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and Glaxosmithkline, among others.”A paper on the results of the study was published and well-received, given the potential impact on this large market,” PAO Group concluded. “WHO estimates 65 million people worldwide are afflicted with moderate to severe COPD and GlobalData forecasts that the COPD treatment market will reach $14.1 billion by 2025.”Known as “smoker’s lung”, COPD is a progressively worsening and potentially deadly condition that affects more than 380 million people worldwide, primarily caused by smoking, but also by occupational hazards such as air pollution or chemical fumes. It is the third leading cause of death globally.Patients with existing illnesses that cause breathlessness, wheezing or lung problems run a higher risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19 infection due to the novel coronavirus, according to recent research published on MedRxiv.Reuters contributed to this report.