Medical Cannabis Legalization Helps Destigmatize Related Products

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

New York, NY (10/5/2020) – Presently, the medical cannabis sector accounts for the majority of the market share, and progress is slowly being made in removing the stigmas associated with such products. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first marijuana-derived drug to treat epilepsy, Epidiolex, back in 2018. The drug is a cannabidiol, or CBD, based oral solution used to treat seizures associated with epilepsy. While the FDA did move to delist some CBD as a Schedule 1 drug, the agency has not approved of any other cannabis-derived treatments or methods of consumption. “We need to derive more value for the market. Given the hundreds of compounds the plant’s genetics produce, and our relative lack of knowledge about them and their interactions, there is huge potential for growth in condition-specific treatments and functional delivery,” says Liam McGreevy, Chief Executive Officer of Ethnopharm, “The hope is to produce more effective medicines for the patients looking for solutions to their conditions.” MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTC: MEDIF) (TSX: LABS), GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB)

Overall, the legal cannabis market is permeating throughout the U.S. states and is helping to create a multi-billion-dollar industry. While medical cannabis still dominates that broad cannabis marketplace, increasing awareness and legalization efforts are expected to further propel the overall industry forward. Nonetheless, medical cannabis can already be found in many regions around the world such as parts of the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Thailand, and South Korea. And according to data compiled by Imarc Group, the global medical cannabis market was estimated to expand upwards of USD 11 Billion in 2017. By 2023, the market is expected to reach USD 37 Billion while registering a CAGR of 22% during the forecast period.

MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTCQX: MEDIF) (TSX: LABS) and STADA, a European Consumer Healthcare and Generics company, just announced breaking news that STADA has signed an exclusive supply agreement with MediPharm Labs Inc. Under the terms of the exclusive partnership, “ – A milestone for the global cannabis industry as STADA, in partnership with MediPharm, forges the way as a large pharmaceutical company commercializing medical cannabis products

– Partnership validates MediPharm Labs’ GMP pharmaceutical-quality cannabis production and, combined with STADA’s 125-year heritage and experienced marketing and sales platform, will meet the growing demand of the medical cannabis market, beginning in Germany – an estimated €1.5 billion market by 2025

– STADA CEO Peter Goldschmidt: “This partnership with MediPharm demonstrates STADA’s ambition to be the go-to-partner for Generics, Consumer Health and Specialty Products. With MediPharm, we are collaborating with a very strong partner in the Medical Cannabis field.”

BAD VILBEL, Germany and TORONTO, Oct. 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As one of the leading European Consumer Healthcare and Generics companies, STADA, with a product presence in 120 countries, has signed an exclusive supply agreement with MediPharm Labs Inc. (“MediPharm”), a wholly owned subsidiary of MediPharm Labs Corp. (TSX: LABS) (OTCQX: MEDIF) (FSE:MLZ) (“MediPharm Labs” or the “Company”) a global leader in specialized, research-driven pharmaceutical-quality development and manufacture of cannabis API and derivative products to provide medical cannabis products for the European pharma sector.

“Working with MediPharm will meet the needs of pharmacists and patients and deliver on STADA’s purpose of caring for people’s health as a trusted partner,” commented STADA CEO Peter Goldschmidt. “This partnership with MediPharm demonstrates STADA’s ambition to be the go-to-partner for Generics, Consumer Health and Specialty Products.”

Under the terms of the exclusive partnership, MediPharm will supply GMP certified medical cannabis products to STADA, as well as manufacturing, logistics, and regulatory support. STADA will be responsible for commercializing the cannabis products, initially in Germany as well as marketing and medical education utilizing a pharmaceutically experienced field force.

“This partnership is exactly the type of business MediPharm has been pursuing since its inception and a validation of our strategy to deliver GMP-certified cannabis products that can be used in multiple new products in multiple markets around the world,” said Pat McCutcheon, CEO, MediPharm Labs. “This mandate has meaningful revenue potential for MediPharm Labs and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with a company that has the reputation and resources that STADA commands. As a powerhouse in sales and distribution of pharmaceuticals and non-prescription consumer health products, STADA has the ability to become a transformative force in European medical cannabis markets and we are thrilled to be their exclusive partner.”

The partners will initially focus on Germany, before potentially expanding to other European countries and territories. The partnership also signals MediPharm’s entry into the global pharmaceutical industry within a major European market.

With over 83 million inhabitants benefitting from broad access to healthcare services, Germany currently represents an estimated three-quarters of the current EU medical cannabis market.

The Medical Cannabis Network reports the medical cannabis market in Germany is currently valued at between €150m and €175m, despite only around 10% of the 20,000 pharmacies in Germany selling medical cannabis products today. Furthermore, only a limited number of doctors in Germany currently prescribe medical cannabis. With greater awareness and education around the benefits of medical cannabis, the Medical Cannabis Network estimates that Germany’s dominance in the European cannabis market could expand to €1.5bn by 2025.(1)

This is a further milestone for the global cannabis industry as STADA, in partnership with MediPharm, forges the way as a large pharmaceutical company to commercialize medical cannabis products.

Details of the products that STADA will bring to market through this partnership with MediPharm Labs will be unveiled in the coming months in the respective relevant communication channels.

(1) https://www.healtheuropa.eu/exploring-growth-in-the-european-medical-cannabis-market/100849/”

GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH) reported last month that the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved EPIDYOLEX® (cannabidiol) for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age and older. This represents GW’s cannabis-based medicine’s third global regulatory approval, following US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2018 and European Commission (EC) approval in 2019. GW has partnered with Chiesi Australia to make this medicine available in Australia, and the Company will now work alongside its partner and Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) to secure reimbursement for the medicine through a listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). “GW was founded over two decades ago with a mission to bring cannabis-based medicines to patients with an unmet medical need. We are proud to now be able to bring GW’s cannabidiol to patients in Australia following this approval and our partnership with Chiesi Australia,” said Chris Tovey, GW’s Chief Operating Officer. “This marks our third global regulatory approval and is another important step for GW and the patients we are here to support. The TGA approval is further proof that cannabis-based medicines can successfully go through extensive randomised placebo-controlled trials and a rigorous evaluation process to reach patients who need them.”

Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) announced last month that Australian researchers have published preliminary results finding that one of the company’s GMP-produced products is showing promise reducing nausea and vomiting for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in a world’s first clinical trial. Results published in Annals of Oncology found a significant improvement in the control of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. A quarter of the patients taking medicinal cannabis experienced no vomiting and nausea, compared to 14 percent of people who took a placebo. The pilot phase of the study ran for two-and-a-half years with 81 participants enrolled. To be included in the study, patients had to have already experienced nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy despite having taken nausea prevention medication. “The side-effects associated with chemotherapy are some of the primary causes of treatment discontinuation”, says Philippe Lucas, Vice President of Global Patient Research and Access at Tilray, “so improving the control of nausea and vomiting can not only improve the quality of life of patients, by allowing those affected by cancer to complete their treatment it can also potentially save lives.”

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE) announced last month that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted orphan drug designation for cannabidiol (CBD) for use in treating 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q). 22q is a rare midline condition featuring physical abnormalities and debilitating neuropsychiatric and behavioral symptoms including anxiety, withdrawn behavior, and social interaction problems. “Zynerba is committed to developing Zygel
™
CBD gel in certain rare and near-rare conditions, including 22q, for which there is an urgent need for new, innovative therapeutics,” said Armando Anido, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zynerba. “We are pleased that the FDA shares our sense of urgency regarding the development of effective therapeutics in this important patient population. The receipt of this designation represents another important milestone for us, and we look forward to working closely with the FDA to develop Zygel in pediatric and adolescent patients with 22q as expeditiously as possible.”

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) announced on February 3rd, its Aurora River production facility, located in Bradford, Ontario, has received European Union Good Manufacturing Practice certification. EU GMP certification is granted to companies whose production facilities demonstrate a high degree of quality and consistency in their manufacturing procedures and is a requirement for the export of medical cannabis products into most European markets. “Aurora is leading the development of medical markets across Europe and around the world,” said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora. “The EU GMP certification of our River facility further validates our strategy focused on purpose-built facilities, designed and constructed exclusively for the production of high-quality, pharmaceutical grade cannabis. I congratulate our team on successfully working with regulators and licensing bodies to ensure Aurora’s facilities and products are in accordance with local and international standards that will allow for greater access to the highest quality medical cannabis products to patients who need them.”

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