Biotech Medlab Clinical (ASX: MDC) has ended the H1 of the 2021 financial year with $6.8 million cash in the bank with increasing early revenue from Special Access Scheme (SAS) sales of its NanaBis and NanoCBD products along with ongoing nutraceutical sales.
During the period, Medlab’s revenue from ordinary operations rose 77.4% to $4.5 million compared to the previous corresponding H1 2020 which generated $2.5 million.
Driving some of this revenue were sales of NanaBis and NanoCBD under the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration’s SAS.
The H1 2021 saw 3,033 bottles of cannabinoid-based NanaBis dispensed, which was 6% higher than H1 2020.
Additionally, sales of NanoCBD through the scheme have shown early growth, with the period reflecting the first full half of sales since NanoCBD was launched in Q4 FY2020.
Meanwhile, in H1 2021, Medlab’s nutraceutical business continued to undergo a period of rationalisation.
Following initial COVID-19 impacts, H1 2021 sales demonstrated improvement and recovery – underpinned by the launch of digital sales and marketing channels, along with telehealth services.
All-up, Medlab’s net loss for the period was 25% lower at $5.33 million compared to $7.14 million in H1 2020.
Medlab chief executive officer Dr Sean Hall said the company achieved many “significant milestones” during H1 2021 – especially in relation to NanaBis.
During the period, Medlab continued to advance NanaBis which has been designed to treat cancer-induced bone pain.
The drug is poised to undergo phase III trials in Australia, the UK and the US. The US trials were made possible with Medlab securing US Food and Drug Administration investigational new drug approval in January.
“NanaBis is the only cannabinoid-based drug candidate under development ready to start a phase III trial,” Dr Hall pointed out.
Medlab also plans to submit a second IND application with the FDA which, if granted, will allow NanaBis to be prescribed under the expanded access scheme in the US, which is similar to Australia’s SAS.
If this application is successful, Medlab says NanaBis could be the first cannabis-derived drug candidate to be made available under the US expanded access scheme.
NanoCelle technology advanced
A key feature of NanaBis is Medlab’s proprietary NanoCelle drug delivery platform, which “greatly” improves drugs solubility issues – essentially making a drug more effective at lower doses.
To protect its proprietary technology, Medlab secured an Australian patent during H1 2021.
This delivery platform is also used in NanoCBD, with Medlab teaming up with Australia’s largest generic over-the-counter (OTC) supplier Arrotex to fast-track availability of NanoCBD throughout Australian pharmacies.
The ultimate goal of the deal is to make NanoCBD available OTC at pharmacies across Australia as part of the TGA’s loosened CBD restrictions.
Medlab is also working on growing sales of its nutraceutical patented probiotic NRGBiotic after preliminary results from a phase IIa trial showed a reduction in depression and improved quality of life when the probiotic was taken in conjunction with prescribed antidepressants – a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor.
Dr Hall said NRGBiotic was a “very unique formulation” based on years of hard work.
“The company has had a strong and very pleasing H1 and had a good start to H2,” Dr Hall added.