NEW YORK, October 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
The cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical market is rapidly expanding, driving increased demand for a reliable flow of high-purity cannabinoids. With a market that's expected to grow from $2 billion in 2020 to $50 billion in only nine years, according to Statista (http://nnw.fm/3Uta4), biotechnology companies are increasingly focused on the development of proprietary systems and procedures to drive research and production of cannabinoid pharmaceuticals. One of the leading companies in this sector is InMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CSE: IN) (OTC: IMLFF) (IMLFF Profile), which has created proprietary systems for bioinformatics and biosynthesis manufacturing of pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids. Axim Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTC: AXIM) is taking a broader approach as the creator of innovative systems for the research, development and manufacture of new products in the pharmaceutical, nutraceuticals, phytoplant and botanical fields. These companies rely on bioinformatics tools to identify cannabinoids for medical applications; another industry participant in this regard is Cannabics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTC: CNBX), which focuses on the development of personalized diagnostic and bioinformatics tools. Aphria, Inc. (TSX: APH) (OTC: APHQF), on the other hand, leverages the capabilities of its proprietary systems to produce agriculturally grown medical cannabis. Primarily focused on the development of modified and reduced-risk tobacco products aimed at reducing the harm caused by smoking, 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE: XXII) is also gaining ground in the cannabinoid market by successfully creating industrial hemp plants that contain zero tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
These are just some of the biotechs that have recognized the benefits of creating proprietary systems for new product development. These systems provide them with increased control over outcomes in their drive to create product of consistently high purity. This is critical in the emerging cannabinoid drug sector, where the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has major concerns regarding the consistency of drugs and products manufactured from agricultural cannabis. Any biotech in this sector striving for approval from the FDA must ensure that its products are able to survive rigorous pharmaceutical testing and manufacturing standards.
InMed Pharmaceuticals (CSE: IN) (OTCQB: IMLFF) is the standout company in the field of pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoid biosynthesis. By using its proprietary systems and methods, InMed has developed the first bio-identical cannabinoid that has undergone formulation and preclinical testing. InMed will use its proprietary systems to develop other cannabinoid-based drugs, leveraging its technology to ensure enhanced consistency in production, purity, quality and structural integrity, all of which greatly increase the likelihood of gaining FDA approval for its candidates.
Using computer-based algorithms and proprietary bioinformatics to identify active cannabinoid combinations for the treatment of several diseases in dermatology, ocular disease, pain and other conditions, the company has the capability to advance drug candidates through formulation, preclinical and clinical testing.
InMed's biosynthesis platform has several other advantages over agriculture-based production methods, including extensive cost savings resulting from not having to contend with the grow-harvest-extract-purify cycle necessary when using cannabis crops. Additionally, InMed's biosynthesis process can produce all of the 90+ cannabinoids naturally found in cannabis, enabling the company to avoid the harmful chemicals that are used in the cannabis growing process and offering an easier way to scale-up from the laboratory to full production.
The company's preclinical development pipeline includes INM-750 for the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa (EB), an orphan pediatric disease with no currently approved therapy. The potential global market revenues for this drug are estimated at $1 billion. INM-085, a second drug in development, is being studied as a treatment option for glaucoma, with its global market value of over $5 billion. More than three million Americans are estimated to be living with glaucoma, and over 120,000 have been blinded by this condition (http://nnw.fm/Of680).
The company has streamlined its proprietary systems, enabling it to create bio-identical cannabinoids in the controlled setting of a laboratory, and it is currently working on scaling up its manufacturing capability. Once at commercial scale, the company will be uniquely positioned to maximize its potential by assisting other companies with cannabinoid-based drug development programs. The company recently filed a provisional patent for biosynthesis of cannabinoids. Once converted into an International Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application, InMed will look to pursue key jurisdictions on an international scale (http://nnw.fm/WJ8zY).
Another company that is actively engaged in cannabinoid research and development is Axim Biotechnologies (OTCQB: AXIM). Based in the Netherlands, the company is conducting research into a patented cannabinoid delivery system to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) patients suffering from pain and spasticity. Axim's research and testing is conducted in compliance with the strict guidelines of the FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMA). In a recent development, on October 5, 2017, Axim was granted a patent for a cannabinoid ophthalmic solution developed for the treatment of glaucoma and conjunctivitis.
Cannabics Pharmaceuticals (OTCQB: CNBX) provides diagnostic tools and bioinformatics to support practitioners and patients. Also engaged in scientific and clinical research through its subsidiary, Grin Ultra, the company is developing cannabinoid-based medicine for cancer patients, examining efficacy through in-vitro studies and clinical trials. Cannabics is currently studying the effect of its proprietary cannabis capsules on weight and appetite loss in cancer patients. The company recently filed national phase patent applications for its proprietary cannabis-based cancer cell screening technology in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, China, India and Brazil.
As a global leader in the production of medical cannabis, Aphria (TSX: APH) (OTCQB: APHQF) has a strong commitment to the production of high-quality, pure and safe cannabis. The company is leveraging a controlled growth system in which cannabis is cultivated only in the most natural conditions available in order to offer safe and consistent products. With different formulations in development, ranging from capsules to oral solutions and vaporizers, Aphria also provides a portal for both patients and health professionals to order their products. A team of experts is also available to answer any patient questions on issues relating to the use of cannabis in medical treatments. In June 2017, Aphria was granted a license by Health Canada to extend its cannabis production space by 57,000 square feet.
While its main focus is on regulating the nicotine levels in tobacco plants and producing very low nicotine tobacco as an aid to stop smoking, 22nd Century Group (NYSE: XXII), with its proprietary genetic engineering technology and expertise in plant breeding, is also an active player on the cannabinoid manufacturing market. Via wholly-owned subsidiary Botanical Genetics, LLC, the company has successfully created a type of industrial hemp that is completely THC-free. This is set to revolutionize the hemp industry by virtually guaranteeing a larger output, as, under current U.S. federal laws, any hemp plants with a THC concentration above 0.3 percent need to be destroyed. 22nd Century Group is also continuing research into the development of next-generation industrial hemp that will contain optimal levels of medically-relevant cannabinoids, as well as the creation of hemp varieties adapted to various climates around the world. The company has just ended its first industrial hemp field trials with the University of Virginia, a program that it plans to continue throughout 2018 with its zero-THC plants.
By using proprietary technology and systems, leading biotechnology companies in the field are not only spurring their own growth and development, but also spearheading a revolutionary approach to the production of pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids and industrial hemp. These efforts will ultimately impact the entire industry and create growth opportunities for other cannabis companies, as well.
For more information on InMed Pharmaceuticals, please visit: InMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CSE: IN) (OTCQB: IMLFF)
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