OWC Pharma secures funding for cannabinoid drug
- OWC Pharmaceutical Research, which develops cannabinoid-based therapies, has inked a deal with Medmar, giving it access to a no-interest loan of $300,000 available in six installments between September 2016 and February 2017.
- The Israeli-based company has earmarked the money for development of its cannabinoid-based psoriasis cream, which it is working on in collaboration with Emilia Cosmetics, another Israeli firm.
- The cannabis pharmaceuticals market could grow as high as $20 billion by 2020, according to an optimistic forecast from Viridian Capital Advisors.
One World Cannabis, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Israeli company OWC Pharmaceutical Research, is developing cannabis-based pharmaceuticals for treatment of a sweeping range of diseases, including multiple myeloma, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, PTSD and migraines.
Developing cannabis-based drugs can be a challenge in the U.S., where regulations vary from state to state. Working with an Israel-based company, where there are fewer restrictions on scientific research, as discussed in Insider Financial, could be a major benefit for Medmar.
"Medmar has been anxious to advance cannabis as medicine, however U.S. regulation makes it very difficult for companies here to actively pursue any type of development in the sector; fortunately, the environment in Israel is more favorable to the industry," says Steve Weinstein, CEO of Medmar.
The loan will be repaid as a set off of royalties, and Medmar will get rights to manufacture and commercialize OWC's products in the U.S.
Interest in cannabis derived drugs in the pharma and biotech industries has grown, particularly as the DEA has relaxed some of the restrictions for the possession of cannabidiol by researchers, as reported by Reuters.
At the same time, some clinical trials have shown promise. Phase 3 studies of GW Pharmaceuticals' cannabidiol-based drug, Epidiolex, have read out positive in rare forms of epilepsy, driving the UK-based company's share price up substantially. An NDA submission is planned for 2017.
- OWC Pharmaceutical Research Statement
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