Pharmaceutical company Althea Group (ASX:AGH) had some interesting distribution news, announcing the Australian-first launch of an online channel for its medicinal cannabis products.

The company says its Althea Concierge service, which has been registered with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), will allow patients to purchase products online and have them delivered directly to their door.

Using the Concierge platform, doctors will be able to prescribe Althea’s medicinal cannabis products and arrange for direct delivery, bypassing the need for patients to make extra trips to the pharmacy.

Shares in the company were up seven per cent to 37 cents in morning trade, still well off the stock’s 12-month high of around $1.20.

COVID-19 response

Althea said it fast-tracked the development of the platform in response to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The new functionality, when used in conjunction with telemedicine, allows the interaction between doctor, patient, and pharmacy to take place online whilst ensuring all relevant approvals are obtained,” the company said.

CEO Josh Fegan said the company is also planning to role out online sales functionality for the Concierge platform’s UK market as well.

The company first launched Concierge back in September 2018 as a platform to provide medical education and build a clinical evidence lab for healthcare professional in the space.

Fegan said the regulator-approved online distribution capability was probably “the biggest development yet” for Australia’s medicinal cannabis sector.

“You need to have a lot more than just a quality product in the highly regulated prescription cannabis space, and Althea’s ongoing investment in technology provides us with a premium value proposition that we believe none of our competitors possess,” he added.

In other ASX health news this morning

Biotech company Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) continues to refine the design of the Phase 3 trial for its prostate cancer treatment.

The company is working in lockstep with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), after its TLX591 cancer therapy product received “accelerated status” from the regulator on July 1.

This morning, Telix announced it had received more feedback from the FDA in connection with the “study design elements, statistical considerations, dosing strategy and safety monitoring to be employed” in the trial.

Armed with that additional information, Telix said it will now be able to further optimise the design of the trial, with a more targeted patient selection process via the use of its TLX591-CDx diagnostic imaging companion.

The company will now integrate those findings to complete the final design, ahead of plans to file an Investigative New Drug (IND) application before the end of the year.

Receiving IND approval means the company can conduct clinical research in the US.

Along with the FDA news, Telix added that it has entered into a partnership with US-based therapeutic oncology company RefleXion Medical, to investigate how the two companies can combine their technologies to find improved outcomes for prostate cancer patients.

RefleXion specialised in biology-guided radiotherapy (BgRT) treatments, and together the two companies will investigate “several new positron emission tomography (PET) tracers, to evaluate their potential in guiding BgRT to treat disease” for cancers of the prostate and kidney.