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Piauhy Labs to open cannabis research centre in Portugal 

Piauhy Labs will study the efficacy of cannabinoids for the treatment of diseases such as autism, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.



Piauhy Labs to open cannabis research centre in Portugal 

Piauhy Labs, a company producing personalised medicine at the crossroad of biotechnology, neuroscience and medical cannabis, is opening a new research facility at Biocant Park in Cantanhede, Portugal. 

Piauhy Labs received its pre-license from Infarmed, the Portuguese pharmaceutical regulatory agency, in 2020, and has since submitted a request for an R&D licence for controlled substances, which will pave the way for pharmaceutical developments at its new research centre in Biocant Park.

The company is aiming to conduct research into cannabis to develop effective treatments for different conditions through identifying potential therapeutic compounds extracted from the plant. The company will be using gas chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography equipment to achieve this aim, and will study the efficacy of the compounds for the treatment of diseases such as autism, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease.

“Some of the research protocols that we have deal with the plant – growing and extracting oils, and the other half of our research protocols that we have, they don’t have anything to do with the plant, per se. We are a medical cannabis company in the sense that we’re targeting the endocannabinoid system, and, by targeting or by manipulating we can address certain diseases,” says CEO Eduardo Sampaio. “So, we are targeting the endocannabinoid system by using the plant and its derivatives, with other techniques.”

The company’s research could reveal the therapeutic potential of many of the cannabinoids in the plant – however, as some are only present in very low amounts, it can be difficult to extract them at scale. 

To tackle this, Piauhy Labs will be using sugar cane. It will introduce the cannabinoid genes into the genome of cells to produce them from primary sugars. The company says this process will be conducted on a large scale, resulting in the production of materials that can be processed into purified cannabinoids and used for therapeutic purposes.

“One of the research protocols that we have, which we have labeled as the biosynthesis R&D protocol, in this context means that we are going to take a certain micro organism, such as a bacteria, and manipulate the DNA of that microorganism. If we do this, we are going to instruct the DNA of that microorganism to start producing cannabinoids.

“There are three major advantages to this. Firstly: speed, as cannabis plants in general take about 14 weeks to grow through to harvest – the fermenting process can take about two to three days. Two, we are going to be able to increase our production capacity in a very fast way – we are not talking about building a building for indoor cultivation, or harvesting and building greenhouses, we are talking about bio reactors and fermentation tanks, so it is a very easy process to scale up or down.

“And the thirdly, and most importantly, it is because one of our deepest beliefs is that there is going to be a growing need, and understanding, of the role of minor cannabinoids in treating certain diseases. This is a very deep belief that we have in our company that in the not so far future, a lot of diseases will be treated by a combination of cannabinoids, and they may have, or may not have, THC and CBD. 

“We are pursuing this investigation protocol because we want to have the ability to produce minor cannabinoids in a better, more efficient manner than the plant.

“We have chosen to focus on diseases which are derived from the central nervous system, such as the four major neurodegenerative diseases – so, our focus as a company is to know what diseases from the central nervous system can be treated by medical cannabis.”

Sampaio says its new research lab could lead to establishing partnerships with biotech companies for research relating to the study of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. 

“Monoclonal antibodies are something that have become a bit more popular after COVID-19 because some of the vaccines developed for COVID are based on that. In this context, we are talking about the development of a certain protein. So, we are manufacturing proteins with a certain ability to aid the treatment of a certain disease. We produce a protein that will connect to the CB2 receptor, and by doing this we estimate that we can control inflammatory responses of the CB2 system.

“The interest in this area arises from advanced studies which suggest that unregulated inflammatory cascades may be involved in the origin and development of the disease, as well as conclusive studies that show that CB2, a receptor of the endocannabinoid system, plays a significant role in the modulation of inflammatory cascades.

“I think is the first time someone is trying to do this,” concluded Sampaio.

Piauhy Labs to open cannabis research centre in Portugal 

Eduardo Sampaio, CEO, Piauhy Labs.


Collaboration to conduct research to support the cannabis industry

Open Book Extracts and Biopharmaceutical Research Company will research the full range of cannabinoids.



MGC Pharma receives forst trache of funding from Mercer Street
Home » News » Research » Piauhy Labs to open cannabis research centre in Portugal 

Open Book Extracts will be leveraging Biopharmaceutical Research Company’s research platforms in order to develop research-backed formulations and products.

The new collaboration is aiming to build up the body of evidence surrounding the benefits of cannabinoids in order to support the cannabis industry.

Open Book Extracts and Biopharmaceutical Research Company will work closely together on preclinical and first-in-human (FIH) dosage forms, to optimisation of formulations for late-stage development and market following clinical evaluation. 

Read more: Europe’s first cannabis tech accelerator to promote cannabis research

They will be developing the most appropriate formulation based on the physicochemical and biopharmaceutics properties of the cannabinoids of interest, the intended route of administration and the phase of development. 

Open Book Extracts CEO, Dave Neundorfer, commented: “Current political and economic situations have created non-science-based products that are not serving today’s consumers, and are not designed to fill the research gaps we desperately need to fill to legitimise the emerging anecdotal evidence.

“Companies that base their brands on the research-backed formulations guided by science and develop corresponding products will rule global market share, and recreate how we choose to find therapeutic relief along with relaxation and stimulation.”

The partnership with BRC also supports the study of Delta-9 THC products and formulations, allowing OBX to identify the phase appropriate, optimal products for formulations including Delta-9 THC.

“We are excited to expand our research capabilities through our collaboration with BRC, in particular being able to add Delta-9 THC as a cannabinoid of interest for our formulation research,” said Neundorfer.

Open Book Extracts (OBX) has a 76,000 sqft research and production facility near Durham, North Carolina, and has developed proven methods to efficiently manufacture a broad range of cannabinoids from hemp and natural sources, including CBD, CBN, CBC, CBG, CBGa, CBT, CBDa, CBDv, and THCv. 

Biopharmaceutical Research Company (BRC) CEO, George Hodgin, commented: “BRC is pleased to partner with OBX, joining forces to further build the body of evidence to support the cannabis industry.

“It is time we investigate the real science, and develop products for brands that take our culture to the next step. It will take a concerted effort. Developing appealing and effective cannabis-based products requires a multidisciplinary approach in food and pharma chemistry. 

“BRC is a one-stop-shop for developing, modifying and improving these new products, and we’re excited to work with OBX to help bring novel, well-studied, effective products to consumers everywhere.”

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Trichome Pharma receives approval to cultivate cannabis for research

The Spanish pharmaceutical company has said the approval marks a significant milestone for the advancement of its pipeline of projects.



Trichome Pharma receives approval to cultivate cannabis for research
Home » News » Research » Piauhy Labs to open cannabis research centre in Portugal 

Trichome Pharma has received approval from the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS) to cultivate medicinal cannabis for research purposes.

Trichome Pharma has been building its research and development platform over the last 18 months. The company’s aim in building the facility is to increase access to medicinal cannabis and set a new benchmark in quality and innovation for medicinal-grade starter materials and finished products. 

With the approval of a cultivation licence, the company will now begin the development of novel micropropagation and conservation techniques for large-scale plant production.

Discover the essential elements for producing a successful cannabis crop with PharmaSeeds

It will also study a selection of various cannabis cultivars from its bank of genetics, as well as the development of innovative cultivation strategies and protocols to optimise plant quality, performance and potency.

CEO of Trichome Pharma and Managing Director of Trichome Capital, Nicholas Balk, commented:  “Receiving AEMPS approval is a significant milestone for the company that marks the culmination of many months of hard work. It’s a really exciting time to be in this industry. I’ve always believed that Spain is the perfect place to build and grow a cannabis business. 

“Not only does it possess a world class agricultural sector and optimal climatic conditions for cannabis cultivation, but it also has a rich ecosystem of knowledgeable industry experts and a deeply-rooted culture in cannabis. 

“Of course, we’d love to see domestic regulation evolve in the same way other European markets have and trust this will happen in the not too distant future.”

The company, which is a member of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), has also launched its new website.

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Over a third of US THC products too strong for legal sale

Despite complying with the Farm Bill, a new study has shown that many US THC products are too strong to legally sell in a cannabis dispensary.



Over a third of US THC products too strong for legal sale
Home » News » Research » Piauhy Labs to open cannabis research centre in Portugal 

CBD Oracle has carried out a lab study of 53 THC products showing that over a third would be too strong to legally sell in a cannabis dispensary.

The new CBD Oracle report reveals that THC gummies can be over three times as strong as dispensary edibles. The US Farm Bill, introduced in 2018, makes any “hemp” product legal provided it contains less than 0.3 per cent delta-9 THC by dry weight. All but two of the products contained THC within this legal limit.

Read more: InfinteCAL Labs discusses avoiding heavy metal contamination in cannabis crops

The report shows that hemp delta-9 products use the specific language of the 2018 Farm Bill to sell high-THC products with far fewer restrictions than edibles in legal states. CBD Oracle states that this has flooded the market with edibles, tinctures and cartridges that wouldn’t clear the higher bar usually used for high-THC products.

Read more: US studies show regulation around CBD and THC labelling desperately needed

It also found that, largely, companies do no age verification, do not test products for safety and do not give customers the dose that they claim to.

Chief research officer at CBD Oracle, Mark Mellone, commented: “Our investigation reveals an industry profiting from a legal loophole, offering gummies much stronger than dispensary edibles with barely a fraction of the oversight.

“We bought products online without ever proving our age and all but one was just dropped at the mailbox. We’re all strongly pro-cannabis, but hemp, cannabis and CBD’s growth (and further legality across the US) depends upon how well we can maintain standards in both products and industry conduct. We need to do better than this.”

The findings

For the report, CBD Oracle commissioned InfiniteCAL Labs to analyse 53 of the most popular hemp delta-9 THC products on the market, covering 40 per cent of all brands. All of the samples were analysed for potency, and 10 were randomly chosen for additional safety testing. Oracle also looked into the products from the lab reports to determine whether companies use child-protective packaging or asked for a signature on delivery.

The analysis found that 51 per cent of products are mislabeled, dosages are often very high, 75 per cent of products are not tested for safety, some companies get certificates of analysis (COAs) from non-ISO-accredited labs and that 85 per cent didn’t use online age verification to prevent minors accessing high-THC products.

Read more: Exploring trends in THC beverages

The analysis also found that hemp delta-9 products contain up to 36.7 mg of THC per serving. For states that have passed adult-use cannabis laws, the most common maximum allowed serving is 10 mg, but some states set the limit at 5 mg. The analysis showed that 34 per cent of products exceed this 10 mg per serving limit, and so wouldn’t be legal as part of state cannabis programmes.

It was further revealed that 51 per cent of products were more than 15 per cent above or below the dosage they claimed. In most cases, they were below, with 45 per cent of all products having less THC than the customer paid for.

In three cases the actual dosage was much higher than advertised, such as gummies supposedly containing 10 mg of THC each actually containing 16 mg.

Despite these concerning findings, CBD Oracle also highlighted that 96 per cent of the products tested fell within the 0.3 per cent THC Farm Bill limit and that all of the products sent for safety testing came back completely clean.

Whilst clean products are a good sign for the industry, CBD Oracle remains concerned that young people are gaining access to products illegally due to the lack of age testing and delivery signatures by companies – stating there is a huge need for further regulatory oversight.

Gillian Schauer, PhD, MPH from the Cannabis Regulators Association commented: “In addition to the consumer safety and youth access issues, from a market perspective, having high THC hemp-derived products creates a parallel marketplace to existing medical and adult-use cannabis markets.

“The barriers to entry for licensees on current state medical and adult-use markets are much higher, in part because of required consumer safety regulations related to packaging, labeling, and testing.

“A parallel marketplace with lower costs of doing business because of fewer safety regulations could certainly undercut existing medical and adult-use licensees in state markets.”

To read the full report please click here.

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