Queensland Bauxite (ASX: QBL) has emerged from a trading halt with news its 55%-owned subsidiary Medical Cannabis had secured an agreement to bring Canada-based Canntab Therapeutics’ “world first” pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis pills with extended relief to Australian and Asian markets.
Medical Cannabis claims the Canntab pill-XR will be a “game changing” medical product that doctors will feel more confident to prescribe than medicinal cannabis with high THC for patients to smoke.
Canntab Therapeutics developed the pill, which has several formulations, to alleviate concerns raised by multiple stakeholders for a better delivery option than smoking cannabis.
Medical practitioners have reported current medicinal cannabis delivery methods can be unreliable, with accurate dosages hard to determine. Additionally, there are side effects attached to smoking or vaping medicinal cannabis, including inhaling carcinogens and it being an inappropriate delivery method for children.
According to Queensland Bauxite, the Canntab XR tablets enable dosage to be more easily managed and eliminate any side effects patients would otherwise have from smoking.
The Canntab pills provide a constant drug concentration between 12 and 18 hours.
Until now, high THC cannabis has been prescribed in certain countries such as Canada, Israel and some US states for patients to smoke to ease a variety of symptoms caused by arthritis, chronic pain, diabetes, epilepsy, anxiety, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS and autism.
According to Queensland Bauxite, pharmaceutical grade cannabis medicine is not yet available to doctors anywhere in the world, but the company is assured Canntab’s products will gain requisite approvals and become “confidently recommended and prescribed” around the world.
Medical Cannabis technical director Andrew Kavasilas said the recent Australian Federal Government’s decision to allow medicinal cannabis exports had paved the way for this latest deal.
Under the joint venture agreement, Medical Cannabis’ wholly-owned subsidiary VitaCann will work with Canntab to get the tablets formally approved for sale in Australia and export to Asia.
VitaCann will also have the rights to distribute the product through both countries.
Meanwhile, Queensland Bauxite executive chairperson Pnina Feldman said it was “exciting” for the company to be involved in a lucrative venture that also would benefit many people in need.
“Everyone knowns someone who could benefit from this new technology, and it is deeply satisfying to see positive results with friends or family in dire need of such medication,” Ms Feldman said.
“Medical Cannabis will strive to educate the political, medical and general community as to the benefits of this new form of medication (the Cannabis pill-XR), in the hope that Australia will now lead the rest of the world in progressing the currently amateur global medicinal cannabis market into a real medical pharmaceutical quality industry to the strict and globally respected Australian standards that the mainstream medical industry will accept – it is our belief that this unique Canntab pill will do just that,” she added.
Once approvals are in place, Medical Cannabis will work with an existing permitted manufacturing facility this year and work towards developing its own facility in Australia to produce the Canntab pills using its own cultivars, genetics and processing. The company then plans to export the product.
Prior to that Canntab will produce its first trial batched during the next few months to submit to Canadian authorities for marketing approval, prior to ramping up production to export to Australia.
Within the first half hour of trade, Queensland Bauxite’s share price had rocketed more than 70% to sit at A$0.09.