Queensland Bauxite’s (ASX: QBL) 55%-owned subsidiary Medical Cannabis has inked a contract to establish a joint venture with a group of United States chemists who’ve put together a cannabis-based pain relief pill, in what Queensland Bauxite dubs a “world first” for the medical cannabis sector.
Medical Cannabis signed the letter of intent with the Israeli-recommended group, which has created and manufactured a sample range of GMP quality pain relief pills derived from the cannabis plant.
For an initial A$1 million investment, Medical Cannabis will be able to test and exclusively market the pills, which can offer short and extended pain relief, within Australasia.
After the initial investment both companies will equally share the funding and profits for the joint venture.
According to Queensland Bauxite, Hebrew University head of cannabis research Prof Oded Shoseyov said cannabis-based pain relief can be produced much cheaper than alternatives such as Humira which can cost at least A$35,000 per annum and generated A$15 billion in 2016.
Prof Shoseyov claims one in 1,000 patients require this form of pain relief and a cannabis-based formula can duplicate the effect at 1/15 of the price, with Queensland Bauxite referring to the commercial benefit of producing such a drug as “astronomical”.
The company also claims Medical Cannabis’ connections and knowledge of Australia’s regulatory environment, combined with its seed bank, will be “immense” benefit to the joint venture as it continues its research into developing the pill and similar medications.
Queensland Bauxite stated all research is currently undertaken overseas and once the joint venture is officially established, the clinical human trials will be carried out in Australia. However, the company said anecdotal evidence from current users has shown the product is a viable alternative in relieving pain.
Humira is a TNF blocker drug that can be used to treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid and other forms of arthritis. Its main drawback is it can lower the immune system’s ability to fight off infections and a several serious side effects.
By late afternoon trade, Queensland Bauxite’s share price had dipped almost 3% to A$0.066.