NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: As the legal cannabis market continues to grow, new deals are creating opportunities for a range of companies and an influx of investments. PreveCeutical Medical, Inc. (CSE: PREV) (OTCQB: PRVCF) (FSE: 18H) (PRVCF Profile) has teamed up with research institutions in Australia and gained a government permit to import cannabis for development of its drug delivery system. Cannabis for this project will be supplied by Aurora Cannabis (OTCQX: ACBFF) (TSX: ACB), a company experiencing significant production growth, including a deal for a new joint venture in Denmark. ABcann Global (TSX.V: ABCN) (OTCQB: ABCCF) (ABCCF Profile) is expanding its production facilities and utilizing a computer-controlled system to ensure the best growing conditions, while Aphria, Inc. (TSX: APH) (OTCQB: APHQF) has developed an expansion strategy using targeted investment and collaborations to help the company and its partners grow. And with legal recreational cannabis coming to Canada, Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX: WEED) (OTC: TWMJF) has secured a $191 million investment from Constellation Brands to support new products such as cannabis-infused soft drinks.
Demand for Cannabis Grows
The cannabis market is growing fast as more states and countries legalize its use for both medical and recreational purposes. This is allowing companies to invest heavily in cannabis research to develop drugs and other products for this growing market. Research and design is becoming increasingly important.
Research for Preventive Treatment
One of the companies deeply involved in this process is PreveCeutical Medical, Inc. (CSE: PREV) (OTCQB: PRVCF) (FSE: 18H). The company was founded by entrepreneurs Stephen Van Deventer and Kimberly Van Deventer. The pair have been working together since they created business development and venture capital company Cornerstone Global Partners in 2009. Since then they have helped create successful cannabis, hemp and block-chain companies.
Building on a shared interest in the health and wellness market, they began research into pairing natural remedies with scientific achievement to provide treatments for health-conscious consumers. In October 2015 they formed PreveCeutical, combining the words “preventive” and “pharmaceutical” to express the company’s goal: medicinally preventing illnesses.
The company’s products are designed to help people stay healthy rather than dealing with the consequences of illnesses when they hit. Its therapies, both preventive and curative, use organic and Nature Identical™ products to ensure that they are in harmony with natural forces and appealing to environmentally and ethically conscious consumers. Initial research and product development has focused on medically acute ailments such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, neurological disorders and pain management.
Focus on Research
PreveCeutical Medical’s corporate office is based in Canada, and it is making bold advances through research partnerships and a research team based in Australia. One of its main partners is UniQuest, the University of Queensland’s commercialization company. The partnership gives PreveCeutical the rights to any intellectual property created through work under their agreement. University of Queensland’s scientific knowledge and experience in intellectual property management combined with PreveCeutical’s extensive experience in product development, corporate strategy and accessing capital markets, creates a powerful combination of academic and commercial expertise.
Chief Research Officer Dr. Harry Parekh will lead the sol-gel cannabinoid project from his base at the University of Queensland’s (UQ) Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE) and is joined by Chief Science Officer Dr. Makarand Jawadekar, who has 28 years of experience in R&D with Pfizer, Inc. Dr. Jawadekar was a part of the team responsible for bringing drugs such as Zolof and Viagra to the market. They are supported by research collaborators Dr. Rakesh Veedu and professor Grant Ramm. Dr. Veedu is an emerging international expert in molecular medicine, while professor Ramm is currently head of a leading medical research institute in Brisbane, Australia.
Cannabis Plant Material in Medical Research
PreveCeutical’s work extends to one of the most exciting and fastest growing areas of medical research — the use of cannabidiols (CBDs).
PreveCeutical and Aurora Cannabis (OTCQX: ACBFF) (TSX: ACB) recently announced the grant of three permits by the Australian Department of Health for the import of CBDs for research purposes (http://nnw.fm/K2l88). The CBD will go to PACE at the University of Queensland, where it will be used in a research program led by Dr. Parekh. This program will be built around PreveCeutical’s sol-gel nasal drug delivery system. The aim is to develop sol-gels that deliver CBDs — active, non-psychotropic ingredients from cannabis — more effectively into the patient’s system. CBDs can provide valuable solutions for a wide range of symptoms including pain, inflammation, seizures and neurological disorders. The research team’s hope is that, through a more direct nose-to-brain delivery system, they can provide faster, more effective relief using a time-release, nano bubble technology.
Notably, the cannabis will be provided by Aurora Cannabis. A licensed producer under the Canadian government’s medical cannabis regulations, Aurora has over 175,000 square feet of production facilities. These allow it to provide large volumes of high-grade medical cannabis for customers such as PreveCeutical.
Better Ways to Deliver Medicine
The sol-gel delivery system is one of the most exciting developments to come out of PreveCeutical’s medical research program. It provides medicine in a liquid form that is squirted up the nose. There, it forms a gel that slowly and steadily releases the active ingredients over time.
Sol-gel gets around barriers within the body that limit the effectiveness of drugs targeting the brain. Traditional delivery methods, including pills and injections, go through a complex range of bodily systems before reaching the target. The liver filters out and metabolizes ingredients, affecting both effectiveness and delivery time. The blood-brain barrier blocks the path for active ingredients to reach the brain.
Sol-gel uses hydrogels—molecules that soak up biological fluids and closely resemble living tissue. Sprayed onto the nasal mucosa, the medicine has a more direct route to the brain, bypassing bodily barriers and increasing the effectiveness of the treatment. The gel’s controlled release of medicine means that delivery is steady as well as direct, reducing daily doses to once or twice a week with a 90 percent bioavailability.
Supplying a Growing Research Business
ABcann Global (TSX.V: ABCN) (OTCQB: ABCCF) is another company gaining traction in its cannabis business. The company runs a production facility in Ontario with 14,500 square feet of growing space. Its computer-controlled environment uses proprietary lighting systems designed to replicate the natural environment and provide a perfect space for cannabis to grow. ABcann also owns 65 acres of real estate with proper zoning and existing infrastructure in place to support the construction of another production facility of up to 1 million square feet, and is pursuing ongoing global expansion into the European, Australian and Israeli markets.
Canadian companies are using their experience and favorable market conditions to expand into other cannabis markets. Aphria (TSX: APH) (OTCQB: APHQF), a Canadian medical cannabis company, is working in not only the Canadian but also the American market. Its strategy of collaboration and targeted investment has led to significant expansion. This includes a recent agreement with the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) to supply high-quality cannabis products through retail outlets in Quebec and an associated e-commerce platform.
Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED) (OTC: TWMJF) has achieved an even bigger team-up through an agreement with Constellation Brands. The $42 billion company is behind the Corona, Modelo and Svedka brands and has taken a $191 million stake in Canopy Growth, providing investment for the development of cannabis-related soft drinks. Canopy Growth’s other collaborations include a deal with Sunniva, a vertically integrated cannabis company focused on the Canadian and Californian markets. This deal will see a steady supply of cannabis for Canopy Growth, allowing it to expand its share of the market.
Research is leading the way in the cannabis market, with the development of new drugs and recreational products. That research is powering fresh growth on the production side for a sector that’s healthier than ever before.
For more information on PreveCeutical Medical Inc., visit PreveCeutical Medical Inc. (CSE: PREV) (OTCQB: PRVCF) (FSE: 18H)
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