Weed Week: Cannabis for kids? UK baby participates in world-first treatment
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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For the many companies in Australia’s medicinal cannabis sector, the health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) products are self-evident.
But a trial underway in the UK is also testing the safety and efficiency of cannabis-derived medicines to treat infants.
And news outlets this week reported that a newborn boy in Norwich has become the first baby in the world to receive the treatment.
The boy, Oscar Parodi, suffers from neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy — a lack of blood flow from the placenta which can cause side effects including brain damage. Parodi was born via emergency Caesarean on March 11 after being three days overdue.
He was transferred to an emergency cooling treatment to protect his brain, where he was also given an intravenous dose of the cannabis-derived drug — all within 12 hours of being born.
Parodi’s treatment is part of a year-long trial, where researchers will prescribe the medicine to infants and check on their progress at 30-day, six-month and 12-month intervals.
The first babies to take part will only be prescribed 1/30th of the usual dose, to allow for the risk of unknown side effects.
Back on home soil, and investors backing the plethora of medicinal cannabis plays on the local market have had a pretty good week.
Of the 34 stocks tracked by Stockhead, 19 posted a weekly gain, while six were unchanged and just nine lost ground.
Compared to the depths of the 2019 cannabis bear market, that’s a strong week and reflects the broader strength across the ASX Small Ords as bullish sentiment continues to hold sway in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below is a summary of weekly and annual price performance for ASX-listed cannabis stocks
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.
Cannabis-adjacent stock EVE Investments (ASX:EVE) led the way this week, after jumping by 40 per cent on Tuesday following a positive trading update.
The company said it received a second purchase order out of China for 21,200 units of its raw honey (it also makes a cannabis-honey range), following some strong sales results.
Also having a good week was hemp and medicinal cannabis player Elixinol Global (ASX:EXL), which rose by more than 30 per cent to continue a rollercoaster run over the last three months.
Elixinol’s stock price jumped on Tuesday after announcing it had completed the retail component of its share entitlement offer, raising $5.6m at 20c per share.
The company also said the sale of its Hemp Foods Australia (HFA) subsidiary (for just $500,000) was now off — terminated by the Chinese buyer, which cited COVID-19 impacts.
Elixinol said it would continue to operate HFA, while continuing with its strategy to become a “global Elixinol branded CBD supplements business”.