Impression Healthcare (ASX: IHL) is set to deliver a toothpaste and mouthwash product that adds yet another option for consumers searching for cannabidiol-based products.
Earlier today, Impression revealed it had executed an exclusive supply agreement with AXIM Biotechnologies to supply toothpaste and mouthwash products containing cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of gum disease, formerly known as periodontitis.
Medical research suggests that around 20% of Australians (more than 5 million people), and as many as 40% of Australians aged 55 years or over, have moderate-to-severe periodontitis. The disease is rising in large part due to dietary habits and poor dental hygiene.
Ideas to halt gum disease
AXIM is a US-based biotechnology company that already makes pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic and oral health products incorporating cannabinoids.
In September last year, the two companies signed an initial memorandum of understanding to kick off their commercial relationship.
At the time, both Impression and AXIM were adamant that their collaboration would assist in bringing cannabinoid therapeutics to mainstream healthcare in both Oceania and the US.
Almost a year on, the duo has announced what is effectively Impression’s first binding product supply agreement – a deal that could eventually lead to greater commercial ties and supplementary product launches in the years ahead.
The two companies intend to join forces in order to commercialise the Australian market, currently booming as a result of softening cannabis legislation that has made medicinal cannabis legal nationwide.
In addition to the supply deal of toothpaste and mouthwash, the new binding agreement also incorporates a longer dated 3-year first-right-of-refusal over all of AXIM’s current and future products, further enhancing the collaboration between AXIM and Impression.
The ASX-listed healthcare company said that the new agreement may serve as a template for Impression to offer other AXIM products to Australians over time.
“We’re delighted to have cemented our collaboration with AXIM with our first binding agreement,” said Mr Joel Latham, CEO of Impression Healthcare.
“This paves the way for our first clinical trial of cannabinoid products, to be managed and operated by the Swinburne University of Technology and Cannvalate. This is the first of four clinical trials to be undertaken, which represents an exciting new potential avenue for the company to generate sales in one of the fastest growing emerging sectors in the world,” added Mr Latham.
Trialling a commercial pathway
According to the terms of the deal, following the completion of a successful clinical trial and special access scheme sales authorisation, Impression will be able to apply for rights to be the exclusive supplier on a commercial basis within Australia, and eventually, New Zealand.
As a clear sign that Impression is keen to make hasty progress through its clinical trial phase and get its CBD-based toothpaste products to market, the company said it will commence the import process “immediately” as preparation for the upcoming trial at Swinburne University of Technology.
In Australia, dentists are entitled to prescribe their patients so-called “unregistered” products, which includes cannabis medicines, under the rules of the special scheme created by the country’s regulator, the TGA.
Impression said that approvals for the use of medicinal cannabis products under the SAS have been “growing rapidly month-on-month, due to growing awareness of the benefit of medicinal cannabis products in the healthcare community”.
Regarding distribution, Impression has said that distribution of its products is envisaged to be via the Cannvalate network and Impression’s own preferred practitioner network of dentists, to which it already distributes various products on a business-to-business basis.