Cosmetics and natural medicines company Bod Australia (ASX: BDA) has received the green light to export its patented sublingual form of medicinal cannabis after gaining an export listing on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, operated by the TGA.
Bod says its “cannabis wafer” provides an easy to deliver, pharmaceutical-grade medicinal cannabis product with higher absorption than many existing products, with its patent protection in over 20 countries expected to preserve Bod’s first-mover advantage.
Bod’s wafer technology is being licensed from Singapore speciality pharmaceutical company and exclusive partner, iX Biopharma.
Earlier this year, Bod said that its cannabis oils and raw materials will be used in iX Biopharma’s WaferiX product which is a small wafer that dissolves under a person’s tongue and releases active compounds for rapid absorption. WaferiX was put forward to undergo Phase 1 clinical trials in January this year with results set to conclude in the coming weeks according to Bod Australia CEO Jo Patterson.
The gradual easing of legislation in several European countries is allowing medicinal cannabis products to be marketed to increasingly more people which are attracting a growing number of commercially-focused companies looking to capitalise on the opportunities presented by cannabis decriminalisation.
The licence grant means Bod Australia will now be able to distribute its Australian-made products into international markets including Asia, a region that is expected to be one of the fastest growing markets in the years to come as authorities follow Western pacesetters such as Canada and the US in allowing medicinal cannabis products to be sold to the masses.
In Bod’s domestic market, Australia, the company has already signed a deal to dispense its MediCabilis product – a proprietary cannabis oil – via Chemist Warehouse stores nationwide.
Chemist Warehouse is currently ranked as Australia’s largest pharmacy retailer with 450 store locations, meaning that millions of Australians now have access to products being developed by the cosmetics and natural medicines company.
From Australia to Europe
One of the other key focus markets for Bod will be Europe, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Switzerland. Bod has said that it has been building a “considerable presence” in these countries and will also seek to leverage its existing relationships with its most significant market partner, Linnea SA, as a means of accelerating product sales in all the regions it has identified so far.
Bod has confirmed it has “global rights” on its patented technology which allows the company to export to multiple countries outside of Europe and Asia over time, although it has tempered its expansion expectations by saying that its products will be deployed in new markets “as regulation permits”.
As part of its European expansion, Bod has said that it intends to leverage relationships with its growing list of partners including Schwabe Group – Germany’s largest natural medicine business, with around €1 billion (A$1.57 billion) in annual sales, Ipsen – a French pharmaceutical business specialising in marketing oncology and endocrinology products with around €12 billion (A$19 billion) in sales, and Tilman – currently considered as Belgium’s largest pharmacy operator that will provide the raw materials for Bod’s natural medicine products.
In Germany, Bod is hoping to leverage Schwabe’s significant market position to move into the homoeopathic market that is based on herbal remedies, plant-derived dietary supplements and additional services for holistic health care.
“The Phase 1 clinical trial of our unique cannabis wafer product is set to conclude in the coming weeks and following, Bod will be well placed to distribute its globally unique deliverable method to countries such as Germany, Switzerland and the UK,” said Jo Patterson, CEO of Bod Australia.
Ms Patterson added that Bod is already building a significant presence in these initial target markets and is looking forward to progressing discussions with its established partner, Linnea SA to drive sales agreements. With developments moving quickly, the company has vowed to update the market on its progress “in the coming weeks”.