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Glass Pharms: initiating domestic supply of medical cannabis in the UK

Glass Pharms will begin the domestic supply of medical cannabis in the UK from the world’s first carbon-negative cannabis cultivation facility.

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Glass Pharms: initiating domestic supply of medical cannabis in the UK
3D rendered image of Glass Pharms' carbon-negative cannabis cultivation facility

Glass Pharms has secured £22.5m in funding to build the world’s first carbon-negative cannabis cultivation facility in the South of England. It has also received the first UK commercial licence to supply High-THC flower to UK pharmacies and clinics.

UK-based cannabis cultivator Glass Pharms has secured the funding that will facilitate the construction of the 2.5 hectare greenhouse facility powered by an anaerobic digestion plant. 

It has also secured the first UK commercial licence granted by the Home Office to supply high-THC cannabis flower to lawful third parties, such as pharmaceutical companies.

This will be tackling a major problem for cannabis patients in the UK – as all medical cannabis in the country is currently being imported from places such as Israel and Australia. 

The new development will allow the company to grow medical cannabis to the correct regulatory standards for onward supply to UK pharmacies and clinics.

Glass Pharms CEO, James Duckenfield, commented: “We will underpin a secure supply chain of medical cannabis to UK patients without them having to compromise on freshness or quality, whilst at the same time making a real contribution towards the UK’s Net Zero targets.”

The agreement for the provision of up to £22.5m in financing is the largest dedicated infrastructure investment in the UK medical cannabis industry to date.

The anaerobic digestion plant that will power the facility will do so by turning food waste into electricity, with waste hot water from the plant being used for both heating and cooling in the greenhouse. 

The facility will be accredited to verify its status as carbon neutral – however, the company says that it will more than likely exceed these requirements.

Growing to the tolerances required by the pharmaceutical sector for medical cannabis flower is difficult in traditional greenhouses – typically the preserve of energy inefficient indoor facilities. The new Glass Pharms facility plans to achieve these standards by using a range of methods.

These will include utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based environmental management systems to monitor and control a range of growing variables to ensure optimal stability.

Duckenfield said: “The result will be a replicable end-product, no matter the season, meaning that UK medical cannabis patients will benefit from a fresh product that meets their requirements for consistency and quality with predictable supply. 

“We look forward to being able to supply our customers in 2022.”

Medicinal

Aurora bolsters German position with EU-GMP facility 

The state-of-the-art facility is now readying for the first delivery of medical grade cannabis for German patients.

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Canadian-based Aurora Cannabis has now received EU-GMP for its medical cannabis production facility in Germany.

Aurora has stated that the certification marks a significant milestone in the fulfilment of an awarded tender by the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM). 

The company’s new state-of-the-art production facility in Leuna, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany adds to its pan-European network of EU-GMP facilities supplying medical cannabis flower and extracts for patients.

Read more: Aurora fulfils first shipment for French medical cannabis programme

CEO of Aurora Cannabis, Miguel Martin, commented: “With the EU-GMP certification of our first German site, we once again demonstrate Aurora’s excellence and leadership in establishing the necessary infrastructure to compete in the global cannabis market.

”As a leading provider of medical cannabis in Germany and several other European markets, we are eager to accelerate patient access to high-quality, reliable cannabis produced in accordance with the most stringent criteria. 

“Our first shipment from our world-class Leuna facility will deliver on our commitment to the German regulatory authority and expanding patient base, a significant step in our ongoing commitment to international market growth.”

Read more: Roundup of Q1 2022 financial results in the UK medical cannabis space

Aurora was awarded a contract in 2019 by the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) for the annual production of 1,000 kg of high-quality medical cannabis flower over a period of four years. 

The Aurora Leuna is a nearly 3,600 sq. metre production site and, now completed, is preparing for the inaugural shipment. The first shipment from Aurora Leuna to German pharmacies is expected via the state’s cannabis agency later this month.

Martin continued: “As a leading provider of cannabis flower and extracts in Germany, we are excited by the possibility of growth in the market. Our investment in domestic production with the highest quality standards will help advance patient access to high-quality cannabis. 

“I congratulate our team in Germany on achieving this important milestone for our Leuna facility and the commencement of local production in this critical market.”

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Medicinal

Little Green Pharma to increase medical cannabis offering in UK

The company has signed a distribution agreement with Sana Life Sciences.

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Little Green Pharma to increase medical cannabis offering in UK
Home » News » Medicinal » Glass Pharms: initiating domestic supply of medical cannabis in the UK

Little Green Pharma has signed a three-year, non-exclusive distribution agreement with Sana Life Sciences that will see the company’s products distributed across the UK and Crown dependencies. 

Australian-based Little Green Pharma’s (LGP) branded cannabis oils and flower products will now be available for UK patients. The company has stated that the agreement marks a key plank in its strategy to distribute in the EU and UK.

The products include its 10:10 Classic Oils, Desert Flame flower and a balanced flower product that is currently in development.

Read more: Little Green Pharma wins Italian tender for medical cannabis shipment

The company has stated that under the agreement, minimum purchase orders for flower products will be between 10 and 20 kgs post ramp-up and 500 oil units per shipment. The first purchase order is expected at the end of Q2 or early Q3 and Sana must purchase units valued at between £246,000 and £820,0001 per year to maintain exclusivity for LGP 10:10 Classic Oil. 

It has also said that Sana may not purchase any medicinal cannabis oils with the same or similar active ingredient ratios, and that product pricing is fixed with volume discounts.

According to LGP, this development will see more patients in Europe accessing LGP’s products, which is increasing the company’s footprint on the continent. In June 2021, LGP became a major player in Europe’s market with the purchase of its Denmark production operation from Canopy Growth.

Read more: First Denmark cannabis shipment reaches Australia’s Little Green Pharma

In February 2022, the company was recently awarded an Italian Government tender for the shipment of medical cannabis into the country from its Danish cannabis facility after being one of just two to bid for the tender.

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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 » Glass Pharms: initiating domestic supply of medical cannabis in the UK

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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