Queensland Bauxite’s (ASX: QBL) 55%-owned subsidiary Medical Cannabis has collaborated with pharmaceutical firm Certara to generate a new strategy for development and distribution of Canntab XR medication throughout Australia.
Medical Cannabis secured the rights to distribute Canada-based Canntab Therapeutics’ products throughout Australia and Asia via a joint venture agreement that was executed in early January.
The Canntab XR drug is a pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis extended release pill that can treat pain and other conditions and offers an alternative to smoking cannabis.
High THC cannabis has been prescribed in the US, Canada and Israel to patients to smoke to ease symptoms of arthritis, chronic pain, diabetes, epilepsy, anxiety, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS and autism.
Many physicians believe smoking or vaping medicinal cannabis is an inappropriate delivery method for children and this method can have unwanted side effects like inhaling carcinogens.
Canntab has developed several formulations of the pill for management of these illnesses.
According to Canntab chief executive officer Jeff Renwick, the pill will assist doctors with prescribing more accurate dosages for their patients to ensure better treatment and options. The Canntab pills provide up to 18-hours slow released medicinal cannabis and offer an alternative delivery method.
Drug development strategy
Medical Cannabis plans to develop Canntab XR as a ‘product of choice’ for treating practitioners to prescribe.
As part of its drug development strategy, Medical Cannabis will undertake pharmacokinetic studies that compare Canntab with other medical cannabis preparations to substantiate its claim that Canntab offers an optimal and stable delivery system.
Local clinical trials will also compare the effectiveness of Canntab against current opioid medicines in chronic non cancer pain.
Additionally, Medical Cannabis will investigate the impact of Canntab with alcohol and other drugs.
These studies will help Medical Cannabis estimate what Canntab’s market share will be once it becomes available.
The company anticipates first imports of the drug by mid-year to distribute into the special access scheme, with clinical trials anticipated to wind up in various stages with the chronic non cancer pain study report due in the September quarter of next year.
“We believe this product is well-positioned comparted to competing cannabis products and will make a lasting difference to many Australians in need,” Queensland Bauxite chairperson Pnina Feldman said.
She added that 2018 was shaping up to be a milestone year and first revenues from Medicinal Cannabis were anticipated “shortly”.
Shares in Queensland Bauxite were steady at A$0.04 in mid-afternoon trade.