Medicinal cannabis and biopharma company MGC Pharmaceuticals (ASX:MXC) has received a cash grant from the government of Malta’s enterprise fund toward its manufacturing facility on the Mediterranean island nation.

The cash grant from Malta Enterprise of 3.1 million euros (~$5m) will allow the company to renovate and extend its clinical research facility in Malta to include a GMP-certified manufacturing facility for its COVID-19 anti-inflammatory treatment.

“We have been working closely with Maltese authorities and Malta Enterprise and now have a tremendous opportunity to establish a European hub for our anti-inflammatory product, which is continuing to have positive clinical trial results,” company co-founder and managing director, Roby Zomer, said.

Initial target markets for the company’s anti-inflammatory medicine include Israel, Russia and its commonwealth of independent states, and some Balkan countries.


Malta manufacturing facility to serve European market

The facility on Malta will become MGC Pharma’s European manufacturing hub and has the ability to scale up production to meet growing demand.

MGC Pharma’s anti-inflammatory medicine has recently passed its phase two clinical trial with flying colours, and will enter its phase three trial in 2021.

Malta Enterprise is Malta’s economic development agency, tasked with attracting new investment to the country conveniently located off the coast of Italy.

“MGC Pharma is very committed to our operations in Malta and helping to build a responsible and viable industry to support the island’s emerging pharma and cannabis industries,” said Zomer.


Enterprise grant available for COVID-19 projects

In June, the agency said it would consider applications for financial support not exceeding 80 per cent of eligible costs for projects that address COVID-19.

MGC Pharma, through its clinical work for its anti-inflammatory treatment for COVID-19, qualified under the grant scheme.

The $5m grant represents approximately 80 per cent of the cost of expanding the company’s existing facility on Malta.

“Malta Enterprise has been working closely with MGC Pharma for almost two years now,” said its chief executive, Kurt Farrugia.

“The production of the anti-inflammatory medicine in Malta will continue to strengthen our position as the ideal hub for advanced manufacturing and scientific development, and Malta Enterprise, as a strategic partner for anyone seriously interested in investing in Malta,” he added.

The company’s expanded facility in Malta is due to be completed in late 2021, and will enable MGC Pharma to streamline its global distribution business.

MGC Pharma has broadened and deepened its distribution networks in a range of countries including Australia, Brazil, Russia and the UK.

The biopharma group is also developing its intellectual property around its cannabinoid medical products with the launch of its CannEpil App.


ASX share price for MGC Pharmaceuticals (ASX:MXC)