Weed Week: Oz gets serious with medical marijuana, new clinics rolling out soon
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A new chain of medical cannabis clinics are set to roll out across Australia as part of a collaboration between Australian biopharma Zelda Therapeutics (ASX:ZLD) and Emerald Clinics.
Zelda is developing a new cannabis-based treatment to reduce opioid usage in patients with chronic pain as well as patients with insomnia and autism.
The partnership with Emerald will give Zelda access to real-time data from patients prescribed cannabis medicines for treatment of pain and/or insomnia.
The agreement also includes an option for Zelda to access data collected from patients who had prescribed its own cannabis products, which the company is aiming to bring to market in 2020.
9News reported this week that a new chain of clinics would be opening across the country to provide treatments, track patient outcomes and build on the research.
Meanwhile, a study done by researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada has shown that marijuana plants produce pain-killing molecules that are 30 times stronger than aspirin.
“There’s clearly a need to develop alternatives for relief of acute and chronic pain that go beyond opioids,” said Professor Tariq Akhtar, a University of Guelph biology professor and author of the study.
“These molecules are non-psychoactive, and they target the inflammation at the source, making them ideal painkillers.”
YPB Group (ASX:YPB) is Stockhead’s top mover this week, shooting up 50 per cent over the past week after locking in its first cannabis consumables client, which has “significant” operations in the US.
The client is Canada-headquartered cannabis grower and processor Halo Labs.
The initial 12-month deal will see YPB provide Halo with its authentication solutions and its YPB Connect consumer engagement platform.
See how the other ASX cannabis players performed this week:
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.
The ASX got another hemp company this week with the successful listing of ECS Botanics (ASX:ECS) on Monday.
The agribusiness and hemp food company backdoor listed into tech shell Axxis Technology. ECS has only been listed two days but it’s up 75 per cent on the 4c-per-share capital raising done to complete its backdoor listing.
Hemp is a low-THC variety of the cannabis plant. Depending on state laws, farmers are allowed to harvest the seeds of the plant and the stem fibre as well, but they do need a licence.
ECS recently concluded its maiden hemp harvest from its Tasmanian operations and planted a crop in Queensland, where it leases land, which is expected to be harvested in August.
New research from MGC Pharma (ASX:MGC) might hold the key to treating glioblastoma, an extremely aggressive type of brain cancer for which there is no cure.
A full report on pre-clinical research, conducted by MGC Pharma in collaboration with the National Institute of Biology and University Medical Centre Ljubljana, has shown that certain cannabinoid formulations can inhibit tumour growth as well as cause cancer cell death.
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive brain cancer for which the survival rate is very low — fewer than 5 per cent of patients survive longer than five years.
Elixinol Global (ASX:EXL) has acquired the intellectual property rights over microencapsulated technology developed by Bionova.
The microencapsulation technology is designed to extend the life of cannabinoids and deliver them more efficiently into the human body.
“We believe our CBD products will be enhanced by microencapsulation technology, providing multiple benefits to a diverse range of uses, particularly in the food, beverage and nutraceutical sectors,” Elixinol CEO Stratos Karousos said.
The company also made several new appointments, naming Gabriel Ettenson as global chief technology officer, Greg Smith as global chief information officer, Leif Harrison as CEO Americas, and Ali Atcha as CEO Europe & UK.
MMJ Group (ASX:MMJ) is investing $C2.5m ($2.7m) in privately held Polish cannabis extraction company, Sequoya Cannabis.
Chairman Peter Wall said Sequoya was an opportunity for MMJ to invest in the European Union, which has a large and growing medicinal cannabis market.
NewH2, the innovation arm of Hong Kong-listed Health & Happiness Group, is sinking $5.5m into medicinal cannabis healthcare products company Bod Australia (ASX:BDA) in exchange for a 17.64 per cent stake.
Bod will also grant NewH2 an exclusive worldwide licence to commercialise its CBD products.
As part of the deal, two Health & Happiness Group representatives, Akash Bedi and Patrice Malard, have joined Bod’s board as non-executive directors.
Tribeca Investment Partners became a substantial shareholder in Cann Group (ASX:CAN) after picking up a 5.05 per cent stake on market.
Althea Group (ASX:AGH) has gone into a voluntary suspension until it can reveal news about an acquisition and capital raising. The company expects to announce its big news today.
Lastly, Botanix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:BOT) and Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies (ASX:ROO) have announced new appointments in the past week.
Perth-based drug developer Botanix named Vince Ippolito as its new chairman, while Israel-based agri-tech Roots appointed Dror Nagel as a non-executive director.