Special Report: Israeli life sciences company eSense-Lab Limited will begin testing its proprietary cannabis-based sanitiser solution on the coronavirus that causes the common cold, in the hopes that it could also prove effective against SARS-CoV-2.

eSense-Lab Limited (ASX:ESE) says the Israeli Ministry of Health’s Central Virology lab at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv will test its TRP-ENV solution against human coronavirus OC43, one of seven coronaviruses known to infect humans.

OC43 has a similar molecular structure to SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and as such is the best virus to test against, eSense says.

The research agreement covers testing of 16 formulations of eSense’s TRP-ENV terpene combination, which is derived from re-engineering cannabis into a synthetic formula.

eSense says that TRP-ENV has been developed to cover a range of anti-viral activity, including other types of envelope viruses such as the herpes virus, HIV, the hepatitis B virus, influenza viruses and more.

If the test trials are successful, TRP-ENV could be used to create hand and surface sanitisers that are more effective than current products and could require less ethanol, which can irritate the skin.

But a successful product may require approval or registration with regulators such as Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, eSense says.

eSense is paying the Israeli Ministry of Health about $100,000 for the tests, with the results expected by November.


Path to commercialisation

This year eSense has signed joint ventures with a range of companies, from SeaLaria for therapeutic skin creams, Blue Science and Wise Wine for hand and surface sanitisers, and ANZ for skin care and sanitisers.

eSense says that by establishing joint ventures for mutual development of products with different partners, it is positioning across multiple revenue-generating markets.

The deals also demonstrate the broad range of applications of eSense’s terpenes.

This year, the company said significant changes were made to its leadership team and business strategy in order to best leverage its core terpenes technology for revenue growth.

eSense says it has favoured this approach as it reduces the upfront capital expenditure required to expand global reach, and significantly reduces costs associated with sales and distribution.

Since then, the company has been able to leverage the distribution channels of its partners to gain access to four significant global markets: Israel/Middle East, Australia, China and the US.

eSense is particularly excited about its exclusive sales agreement with Blue Science, which delivers non-toxic cleaning and disinfecting solutions across a variety of industries in the United States, the world’s largest consumer market for terpenes-based products.

The companies are targeting sales of $3m in the first 12 months, and $10m over a five-year period, although there’s no guarantee these targets will be met.

This article was developed in collaboration with eSense-Lab, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.