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Sativa Learning: on a mission to provide cannabis education

A new medical cannabis course has been launched in partnership with the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society.

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Sativa Learning: on a mission to provide cannabis education

Sativa Learning will launch its new online course which features expert-led content from some of the UK’s pioneering cannabis clinicians.

Sativa Leaning and the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society have partnered to develop a medical cannabis course that is accredited by the CPD Certification Service. Alongside providing a comprehensive understanding of cannabis as a medicine, the course will also cover conditions that the medicine is prescribed for, including chronic pain, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, anxiety, PTSD, Multiple Sclerosis and more.

Following a career in drug toxicology, Sativa Learning founder and CEO, Ryan McCreanor, who studied biomedical science at Queen’s University, Belfast, established the company on return to the UK after working with the Canadian Government on cannabis education.

“I was part of the first-ever Customer Care Centre set up to handle calls from the public on everything to do with cannabis in British Columbia Vancouver. We would receive calls from people wanting to understand the new legal rollout,” commented McCreanor.

“Vancouver had a very strong grey market – there were over 100 or so dispensaries operating which were federally illegal but were allowed business licences by the city. It was a very strange place to be at that time. When the legal ruling came, those dispensaries started to be shut down, and the new government dispensaries were beginning to open up. 

“There was a lot of change management and trying to help the public understand the new rollout of cannabis – answering calls on anything from people asking how to smoke it to whether you can you travel across provinces with cannabis, as there are different slightly different laws in each one.

“I then worked for the new store opening team. We would travel around the province every time a government dispensary was opening up and stay with the staff educating them on everything to do with cannabis, and speak to the public about what they called “non-medical” cannabis. So, a lot of it was education-focused in a classroom environment teaching people about cannabis.”

On return to Belfast, Ryan was looking for a CBD product for his mother who has fibromyalgia.

“I was very disappointed by what I was seeing online from a lot of the retailers – a lot of misinformation and false claims. Around that time there were studies coming out to show that CBD products were frequently mislabeled in their cannabinoid content, and sometimes contain heavy metals and other unwanted things. 

“I wanted to do something that would help the industry, using my background from toxicology and the education side of cannabis, to bring a level of credibility and trust to the industry. I decided to set Sativa Learning up as an online platform that will provide accredited courses for the industry so that people working in the industry will really understand what they are talking about. 

“What I am doing is paying very close attention to what is happening in more advanced markets like North America, and trying to anticipate where that is going and build a platform for the future of the cannabis industry. As an example, in British Columbia, if you want to sell or work as a cannabis retailer, you have to pass a government-mandated course. So, you need to have a level of education in order to work in the industry.

“I see this industry developing like any other where you need some level of formal, recognised certification to advance in the industry. We have had the course accredited by the Continuing Professional Development service which demonstrates that our courses have been created to the highest standards of further learning. A lot of institutions or organisations will require their employees to make up a certain number of CPD points per year, and a lot of healthcare professionals especially have to meet a certain number of CPD points per year, so we wanted to make sure our course would contribute to that if they do enrol.”

Due to ever-changing regulations in the sector, the Sativa Learning course is updated every three months by Mackrell.Solicitors as the course includes a law module that provides CBD law and regulation education.

“We are working with the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society to develop the second medical cannabis course, whereas the first course focuses more so on retailers, entrepreneurs and investors. The medical cannabis course is targeted towards medical professionals to give them an understanding of cannabis medicine.”

This course also includes educational videos from real medical cannabis patients whose lives have been transformed by cannabis medicine, such as Abby Hughes of PLEA – Patient-Led Engagement for Access and Alex Fraser of Grow Group.

“We firmly believe that the industry should revolve around the patients and that they should come first before any profits. We want to make sure their voices are heard.”

As well as partnering with the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society, Sativa Learning has partnered with the European Industrial Hemp Association with a view to releasing a course on hemp education next year. 

“The idea is to bring in true experts in their field and work with them to develop these online courses. We want to have education for all avenues, whether it is testing or extraction or cultivation, created by experts.

“We would also like to make our medical cannabis course available to medical students because, at the minute, in the medical curriculums across the country, there is no education on the endocannabinoid system. It is as important as many other neurotransmitter systems in our body.”

Sativa Learning is raising its first round of funding to increase its accredited course offering and improve its e-learning platform. Anyone who would like to register for the course can visit www.sativalearning.com/p/medical-cannabis-course.

Medicinal

New agreement to fund Phase II trials for cannabis glaucoma treatment

Emerald Health Therapeutics has signed an agreement with Skye Bioscience.

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New agreement to fund Phase II trials for cannabis glaucoma treatment
Home » News » Medicinal » Sativa Learning: on a mission to provide cannabis education

A new agreement between Emerald Health Therapeutics and Skye Bioscience will enable Phase II studies exploring the use of Skye’s proprietary synthetic cannabinoid-derivative therapeutic initially targeting glaucoma.

Glaucoma is the globe’s leading cause of irreversible blindness – affecting nearly 80 million people across the globe – and has no cure.

Skye Bioscience‘s lead programme, SBI-100 Ophthalmic Emulsion, is focused on treating glaucoma. SBI-100 OE is designed to improve the ocular solubility and permeability of a cannabinoid receptor-type 1 agonist. 

So far, preclinical studies have demonstrated that topical application of the nanoemulsion results in enhanced therapeutic efficacy and duration of response, allowing for a potentially once-a-day application to the eye. The results showed superior lowering of intraocular pressure, a key risk factor in disease progression.

Read more: Positive results for cannabinoid targeting multi-billion pain market

Under the new agreement, which would see Skye acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Emerald in a share-for-share-transaction, Skye expects to have funding for a Phase II study which is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2022, following a Phase I study beginning in the second quarter of 2022.

Chair of the Skye’s special committee and president, CEO and board member of Invectys, Inc., Praveen Tyle, Ph.D., commented: “Skye’s proposed acquisition of Emerald stands to strengthen its balance sheet and ability to advance its well-positioned technology and development platform that has generated promising preclinical data in the past year and a half. 

“Despite the constraints of Covid on all facets of the life science industry, Skye has completed the preclinical preparation necessary to launch its first-in-human study of its lead drug, SBI-100 OE, in the second quarter of 2022. 

Read more: New partnership aims to transform global phytomedicine sector

“We expect regulatory approval to start our Phase I study and begin enrolling patients shortly. The transaction with Emerald is expected to provide funding into 2023 and, importantly, for our planned Phase II study starting in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“The shortcomings of today’s glaucoma drugs are significant for patients. Today we are focused on clinically validating what could potentially be an advantageous new class of therapeutic drug for glaucoma. 

“With this in mind, we are actively designing a Phase II efficacy study to deliver potentially meaningful data, yet optimised to minimise time and cost. We believe we can see preliminary data from this study in 2023, and the nature of this data could be transformational from a validation and value creation perspective. 

“Securing the capital to achieve these goals is vital. We believe that acquiring Emerald and its cash and non-cash assets would provide a more favourable capital cost for our shareholders compared to other alternatives in light of current investment market conditions. 

“In addition, Emerald possesses a research and development facility in the greater Vancouver area licensed to undertake cannabinoid-related research under applicable Canadian law, which could be beneficial to Skye as we continue to progress our R&D efforts.”

Chair of the board’s Special Committee of Emerald Health Therapeutics, Bobby Rai, commented: “We are excited to present this opportunity with Skye to our shareholders. Since announcing the strategic pivot of Emerald last November, we have been working to wind down our past operations, monetise our non-cash assets, and apply our capital to a new investment opportunity. We have searched for a company with differentiated positioning and a pedigree of expertise and experience. We believe we have found it in Skye Bioscience.

“Emerald has always recognised the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids based on our experience with the body’s endocannabinoid system and its modulating and balancing activities in the body. We also recognise that the goal to clinically and commercially capitalise on the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabinoid-derived drugs may benefit from advanced technology and drug products with mechanisms of action or formulations enhanced to realise effects superior to not only natural cannabinoids but to existing approved classes of drugs and those under development. 

“The beauty of this situation is that the underlying cannabinoid that Skye is working with has previously been shown through prior third-party research to have promising potential. And Skye’s recent preclinical work has shown improved delivery of the underlying cannabinoid to the back of the eye and notable effects in reducing intraocular pressure, which is a key risk factor of glaucoma.

“Skye Bioscience has proprietary technology, R&D initiatives to expand its therapeutic capabilities, a strong focus on IP, along with a management team, board, and advisory board with many decades of experience in pharmaceutical drug development and clinical practice, notably in ophthalmology and in fundamental cannabinoid research. This company is uniquely positioned to capitalise on the substantially untapped opportunities represented by the intersection of cannabinoids with modern science and traditional drug development.

“We believe this is an excellent opportunity for Emerald shareholders to potentially benefit from a new class of cannabinoid-derivative drug candidates.”

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Markets and industry

Apollon Formularies purchases four patents from Aion Therapeutic

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apollon acquires intellectual property

Apollon Formularies has announced the acquisition of four patents previously owned by AI Pharmaceuticals, covering a number of treatments for cancers and inflammation using cannabis and mushroom compositions.

Apollon Formularies plc, a UK based international pharmaceutical company has acquired intellectual property from AI Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a wholly-owned Jamaican subsidiary of Aion in what Apollon is calling a “win-win” for both companies. Under the terms of the Agreement, Apollon will acquire four patents and all associated supporting data including the pre-clinical testing results from BIOENSIS.

The patents include: ‘Compositions and Methods for Treatment of Cancers’, ‘Compositions and Methods for Treatment of Inflammation, ‘Methods for Treatment of Human Cancers using Mushroom Compositions’ and ‘Methods for Treatment of Human Cancers using Cannabis Compositions’.

In a statement, Stephen Barnhill, MD, Chairman and CEO of Apollon Formularies said: “This intellectual property acquisition is a win-win for both companies. Apollon’s Jamaican affiliate, Apollon Formularies Jamaica Limited, has Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) issued medical cannabis licenses for processing, retail therapeutic sales, and research and development which allows performing human clinical trials with approval of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and cultivation. Apollon’s CLA licenses also currently allow the export of these products from Jamaica to countries globally allowing legal import.

Dr. Barnhill is also the Executive Chairman of Aion and serves as a director and executive officer of AI Pharmaceuticals.

Apollon, which is trading on the Aquis Stock Exchange, has purchased the patents from Aion via a cash payment of £95,957.18 and the issuing of 4,348,679 ordinary shares in the company. These shares will be subject to a complete trading restriction for a period of six months from the date of the stock transfer. After the six month restriction period, twenty percent of such stock will become eligible for trading and an additional twenty percent will be tradable at the end of each following three-month period, with all trading restrictions being fully removed at the end of eighteen months.

In addition to the cash payment and Apollon shares, Apollon will pay to Aion a royalty fee of four percent of Net Revenues on all products produced and sold globally that are derived from or based on the purchased intellectual property assets. The royalty fee shall be due from Apollon on a quarterly basis after the first commercial product sales.

“Apollon has a state-of-the art, high volume processing and manufacturing facility in Jamaica allowing production of these products. Apollon intends to immediately make these medical cannabis and medicinal mushroom products available at Apollon’s International Cancer and Chronic Pain Institute in Kingston, Jamaica and at our CLA-licensed dispensary in Negril, Jamaica, as well as initiating human clinical trials to validate the successful results seen in the pre-clinical testing.”

AI Pharmaceuticals and Apollon Formularies Jamaica announced in May last year that the two companies had made arrangements for the testing of their respective formulations and products independently and jointly. BIOENSIS, an independent pre-clinical predictive pharmaceutical testing laboratory, previously evaluated the effect of mushroom and cannabis formulations on multiple cancer cell lines in 3D cell cultures.

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Medicinal

New partnership aims to transform global phytomedicine sector

HempStreet and MGC Pharmaceuticals have teamed up to increase access to phytopharmaceutical medicines for patients.

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New partnership aims to transform global phytomedicine sector
Home » News » Medicinal » Sativa Learning: on a mission to provide cannabis education

India’s first medical cannabis “research to retail” venture, HempStreet, and Europe’s biopharma and phytomedicine specialist, MGC Pharmaceuticals, have entered into a partnership that will see the pair combine research and development as well as distribution strengths to improve quality of life.

UK-based MGC Pharma has been working on polyherbal formulations based on cannabis and other phytopharmaceuticals. Through this new partnership MGC Pharma will leverage HempStreet’s extensive distribution reach and key institutional partnerships to bring Indian patients access to its medicines.

Read more: MGC Pharma initiates study for long-COVID

The partnership will also help to accelerate HempStreet’s upcoming venture, the transdermal delivery technology for cannabinoids, to launch in markets beyond Asia with the help of MGC Pharma’s distribution network in Australia, UK, Brazil and Ireland.

Co-founder of HempStreet, Abhishek Mohan, commented: “We are very excited to work with Roby and the team at MGC Pharma, bringing cutting-edge, scientifically-validated phytopharmaceutical medicines to tackle mass ailments in India and beyond. 

Read more: MGC Pharmaceuticals cannabis epilepsy treatment now free to Irish patients

“In particular, CimetrA, which has shown a 100 per cent success rate in Phase II clinical trials in India, will be an important product just on account of the fact that an estimated 15 million individuals are experiencing some sort of post-Covid-19/Long-Covid symptoms.”

MGC Pharma has stated that CimetrA – made of artemisinin, curcumin, and boswellia serrata – is effective in arresting cytokine storms associated with Covid-19. There are currently over 15 million individuals, approximately 30 per cent of all Covid-19 recoverees in India, said to be experiencing some form of post- or long-Covid related symptoms.

Co-founder, MGC Pharma, Roby Zomer, added: “Entry into significant global markets such as India is paramount to MGC Pharma’s agenda, advancing phytomedicine adoption globally. 

“India has a long-established and government-supported Ayurvedic healthcare system, and working with HempStreet to facilitate access to our proprietary phytomedicines such as CimetrA and CannEpil and the new formulations on the pipeline, is crucial to gaining a foothold in this market.”

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