Health: Impression Healthcare to sell medicinal cannabis, conduct trials
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Impression Health’s cannabis product sales could start as late as 2022. As the story now reports, we understand that the first of the trials will commence in two to three months time, with sales to start this year.
Impression Healthcare’s (ASX:IHL) punt on cannabis clinical trials might start delivering revenue this year, with an aggressive clinical trial program set to start in two to three months.
The company has struck a deal with private startup cannabis clinic-cum-contract research organisation Cannvalate, to run four clinical trials on a series of products Impression has either licensed or signed MoUs over.
The deal includes distribution of the products once they come through trials via CannVaLate’s network of 1000 doctors and 600 pharmacies.
CEO Joel Latham says they want to get a product on the market this year.
He told Stockhead he expects a sleep apnoea trial for synthetic cannabis drug dronabinol to start within two months and a trialed product on the market within six months.
He said they hope the other three trials can be run in conjunction with each other and they’re currently in talks with their Canadian supplier, which they signed an MoU with in December last year, for cannabidiol (CBD) oil for one.
Impression made $408,954 in the six months to December 31, all from the legacy mouthguard business — Mr Latham is expecting a “record” quarter. The full year loss worsened to $1.3m and the company had cash of $321,886.
Impression, perhaps best known for its sporting subsidiary Gameday Mouthguards, began investigating the cannabis market last year, while Cannvalate has stoked investor interest by foreshadowing a big $65 million initial public offering this year.
CannVaLate CEO Sud Agarwal says they’re paying for the majority of the trial costs — estimated at $3m in total — in order to develop a relationship and a pipeline of new products for their network. Impression is contributing $80,000 to each trial.
They are establishing themselves as a contractor-for-everything, setting up four cannabis facilities in Victoria that they’ll lease to Canadian companies wanting a hit-the-ground-running site where the licensing an other paperwork is already done for them.
The four trials will be conducted through the new Swinburne-Cannvalate Medicinal Cannabis Research Collaboration.
The trials will test a synthetic cannabis treatment called dronabinol on obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome; a CBD chewing gum for gum disease; synthetic CBD oil on AFL and rugby players following concussion; and regular CBD oil on jaw joint dysfunction.
Impression currently has a letter of intent with a US company over the chewing gum but hasn’t come to a commercial arrangement yet. It has a distribution licence for dronabinol, and an MoU with a Canadian company to supply cannabis oil, but no commercial agreement yet.
The deal gives CannVaLate eight option packages to buy into Impression once trial milestones are hit in 2020, with exercise prices between 2c and 14c.
Impression shares are currently sitting at 2.2c, down 4 per cent.