Impression Healthcare (ASX: IHL) has moved to extend its medicinal cannabis market coverage after unveiling the all-new cannabinoid drug discovery brand Incannex Pharmaceuticals.
As a new entity, Incannex will engage Linnea SA, an EU-based, global leader in custom cannabinoid drug design to be their supply partner over the next five years.
The European company will provide the base cannabinoid materials for the four cannabinoid formulations being designed by Incannex.
According to Impression, the areas of research that will receive prime focus will be obstructive sleep apnoea, traumatic brain injury (TBI), temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) and gingivitis – common ailments that can be effectively treated with medicinal cannabis products.
Linnea will be tasked with supplying base cannabinoid materials for two of the four formulations, specifically TMJ disorder, TBI/concussion, while also formulating and manufacturing IP-defendable products for two clinical trials.
Impression’s overarching plan is to continue developing and launch a series of “pharmaceutical-grade” cannabinoid products in Australia, to eventually sell them via Cannvalate, currently Australia’s largest distribution network.
According to most recent figures, the Cannvalate network receives over 100 new patient enquiries per day and representing over 40% of the entire market.
The growing relationship between Impression/Incannex and Cannvalate builds upon the comprehensive agreement signed in March this year, including a “first of its kind” study on the effects of CBD oil on traumatic brain injury.
So far, Incannex has already taken some initial steps towards commercialisation. Impression has confirmed that Incannex will purchase up to 2,000, 50ml bottles by the end of this year and increasing over the initial five-year term of the contract until 2024.
Furthermore, Incannex wants to tap into Cannvalate’s ability to use the TGA Special Access Scheme, a pathway for distributing medicinal cannabis products to applicable patients.
Sales for medicinal cannabis products have increased 229% from 670 approvals in January 2019 to 2,206 approvals in July 2019 – a clear sign that demand for medicinal cannabis is rising throughout Australia.
Incannex says it wants to emulate the likes of Cannvalate by adopting a commercial strategy to acquire at least 1,000 patients by the end of 2019 which would make it one of the largest licenced cannabis companies in Australia.
“Impression Health and Incannex have realised that the two largest determinants of future growth for cannabis companies are patient acquisition and creation of patent-secured, novel cannabinoid products which have been scientifically validated by clinical trials,” said Dr Sud Agarwal, chief medical officer of Impression.
For the time being, Incannex has chosen to remain tight-lipped on the identity of its new supplier for commercial reasons.
But with the agreement now signed, Impression said it wants to play a significant role in the fast-growing market for high-quality medicinal cannabis oils to provide relief to patients in need.
“We’ve just seen a record-breaking month for TGA approvals of cannabinoid medicines in Australia and expect to see further growth in patient numbers resulting from increased public awareness; particularly positive media coverage on patient outcomes,” said Mr Joel Latham, chief executive officer and managing director of Impression.
“We’re delighted to have forged this agreement with which we consider to be one of the highest-quality producers of GMP-approved medicinal cannabis products in the world.
“Our new supplier will assist us with formulating and manufacturing IP-defendable products for two of our clinical trials. Creating products with defendable IP provides us with a significant opportunity to develop long-lasting products targeted at specific indications,” said Mr Latham.
As a sign of Impression’s geographic expansion, the company also has an active collaboration agreement with leading US cannabinoid therapeutics Company, AXIM Biotechnologies and a licence agreement with Resolution Chemicals for the production and distribution of Dronabinol in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.