Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies has signed a drug development agreement with Canada-based Dalriada Drug Discovery Inc.
Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Holdings (OCTP), the holding company of Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Ltd (OCT), has entered into an agreement with Dalriada to propel OCT’s R&D activities. A goal of the collaboration is the selection of two drug candidates ready for pre-clinical development by the end of 2022.
Dalriada will evaluate cannabinoid derivatives, which includes 335 cannabinoid derivatives, 14 patent families and related intellectual property, acquired under the exclusive licence agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation to advance OCT’s Programmes 3 and 4. These programmes target pain, neurology, and inflammation.
OCTP chief executive, Dr John Lucas, commented: “Whilst our main focus remains pain therapy, the collaboration with Dalriada, in synergy with the strategic collaborations recently announced, will enable us to expand and differentiate our efforts into other therapeutic areas including neurology, oncology and inflammation.
“Working with the team that helped Canopy to develop its library is hugely exciting for OCT and will help us get the very best out of that important acquisition.”
Dalriada designed, synthesised and experimentally tested all of the compounds in the Canopy library, and OCT will be able to leverage Dalriada’s existing knowledge and experience as it continues research and development aimed at identifying multiple drug candidates.
Dalriada chief executive and co-founder, Diana Kraskouskaya, said: “Dalriada looks forward to supporting OCT advance the cannabinoid derivative library we helped discover. Targeting the endogenous cannabinoid system with small molecules holds significant promise in delivering improved therapies and over the years, we have significantly invested in building our expertise and infrastructure in this pharmacology as well as our work with controlled substances.
“Together we are well equipped to rapidly advance OCT’s pipeline through hit-to-lead and lead optimisation.”
The agreement with Dalriada follows another recent agreement with Oxford-based StemTech, which will also be providing support across all four of OCTP’s drug development programmes.
Cookies and InterCure expand into UK and Austria
Iconic cannabis brand Cookies is expanding into the UK and Austria with the opening of retail locations.
Iconic cannabis brand Cookies has partnered with Israel-based InterCure to expand into Europe.
The partnership will see Cookies and InterCure open retail locations in the UK and Austria in early 2022. The parties entered into a multi-year deal under which InterCure will establish Cookies stores and medical cannabis pharmacies in the countries.
President of Cookies, Parker Berling, commented: “As we focus on new territories, it’s vital our customers continue to count on the quality Cookies is known for, which is a value we share with our partners at InterCure.
“We look forward to reaching audiences in Austria and the United Kingdom and establishing Cookies as a mainstay in each community.”
InterCure, a Cookies’ international partner, is already cultivating, manufacturing and distributing GMP standard, Cookies-branded products through its Cookies national medical cannabis pharmacy chain. InterCure will leverage its licensed international supply chain to serve the growing communities of medical cannabis patients in Europe.
CEO of InterCure, Alexander Rabinovitch, added: “Cookies is one of the most internationally recognized brands in cannabis, and after our mutual success in Israel, it’s only obvious we further our expansion to Europe, providing the highest quality grade cannabis products.”
Cookies recently announced its partnership with The Flowr Corporation to bring its premium strains such as Pink Runtz and Gelatti to the European Union. The partnership will see Flowr’s indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, RPK Biopharma, cultivate and distribute Cookies products in Portugal from its 25,000 square foot indoor EU GMP facility in Sintra.
CiiTECH set to launch its medicinal cannabis range Provacan THC in Israel
Israeli patients will have access to the first Provacan THC oil in January 2022.
CiiTECH and Cannassure have announced a major deal to develop and market Provacan THC products for medical cannabis use in Israel, marking CiiTECH’s long-awaited move into medicinal cannabis.
In addition to offering established consumer CBD brands, CiiTECH‘s flagship brand Provacan is considered one of the most respected in the UK. Clifton Flack, CEO and founder of CiiTECH, intends to bring Provacan’s reputation for quality and consistency to the troubled Israeli medical cannabis market.
“CiiTECH is unique in its approach to the CBD wellness and medicinal cannabis markets. We built an international reputation as a market-leading CBD company by producing pharmacy-trusted CBD oil tinctures and selling them as food supplements before making our move into THC. Our intention is to bring these International standards to the Israeli market,” says Flack, “As a UK company with strong roots in Israel, CiiTECH is well positioned to make its THC debut and there is no better place to do so than in Israel, the epicenter of global cannabis research.
“Cannassure is known for producing high-grade medical cannabis in Israel with an advanced indoor-aeroponic growing system and state-of-the-art extraction.”
“The collaboration with CiiTECH, a leading company in the field of cannabis research and marketing and owner of the leading brand Provacan, is an important step in the field of cannabis oils for us, an area that enjoys significant growth among patients who do not want to consume inflorescence cannabis. We are confident that this collaboration will bring value for us, for CiiTECH and for cannabis patients in Israel, and we believe that it will help us conquer a more significant share of the cannabis oil market in Israel,” added Ran Amir, Cannassure CEO.
As part of its business strategy, CiiTECH seeks and collaborates with best-of-breed cannabis providers up and down the supply chain in multiple geographies. With this agreement, CiiTECH continues to demonstrate its effective business strategy, commitment to quality assurance, and speed of entry into the market that the industry has grown to expect from CiiTECH.
With the help of Cannassure, CiiTECH will help reform, standardise, educate and establish quality, consistency, and reliability in the Israeli medical cannabis market. In order to achieve this goal, CiiTECH is developing a hybrid solution in which a superior quality product is offered to patients and a unique professional enrichment programme is offered to help doctors and pharmacists support patients on a deeper level.
Around 80 per cent of Israel’s 100,000 licensed medical cannabis users smoke, rather than using tinctures. The biggest complaint in those groups is the lack of quality and consistency. It is CiiTECH’s mission to show these users how much better tinctures are than smoking. Provacan ambassadors and users will benefit from comprehensive education courses provided by CiiTECH as part of this re-education so they will feel more confident and better supported while using CiiTECH products.
“As cannabis market experts and our involvement in the cannabis ecosystem in Israel, we understand the nature of the demand and the gaps in the Israeli market. Our new THC tincture will revolutionise the lives of many patients who are currently suffering from inconsistencies in the medical cannabis supply chain, and it will be made to the same strict UK & European guidelines as our current products,” concludes Flack.
Israeli patients will have access to the first Provacan THC oil in January 2022, followed soon thereafter by Brazilian and British patients.
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.
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.