Representing a growth opportunity and a step in the right direction in general for the pro-cannabis community, Health Canada has approved research and development of extended release tablets being jointly developed by Emblem Corp. (TSX-V:EMC) and Canntab Therapeutics Ltd. (CSE:PILL). In preparation for development, Canntab has brought equipment to Emblem's facility in Paris, Ontario about 50 kilometers west of Hamilton. Canntab and Emblem teamed up in October for the purpose of developing sustained release products from cannabinoids, constituents of the cannabis plant heralded by many to have a litany of health benefits without inclusion of any "high" associated with the marijuana plant.
Medical marijuana is legal across Canada and in 29 U.S. states. While some argue there isn't enough clinical data supporting claims, there is evidence indicating that drug is effective in treating things like chronic pain, nausea and sleep disorders, while controlling seizures and muscle spasms in people with epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis, all areas were conventional drugs have left huge voids in safe therapy.
Expectations are for commencement of manufacturing the first batch to start this week, but no projections as to a timeline for completion was provided. Before the product will go to Health Canada for review and potential approval for commercialization, the partners intend to rigorously test the product in-house and through independent third parties.
Using Cannatab's intellectual property, the new products are designed to release the cannabinoid content over at least 12 hours. Today's traditional forms of cannabinoid-based pills typically release the active pharmaceutical ingredient immediately. An extended release formulation should provide a more robust therapeutic benefit with fewer side effects.
Saying he was thrilled with Health Canada's decision and that he sees a significant growth opportunity with ER cannabis pills and tablets, Nick Dean, president and CEO of Emblem commented in today's announcement,"We believe that cannabis medications need to be in precise, dose-controlled formats supported by pharmacokinetic, dosing and clinical data to be most consistent, effective, and broadly accepted by prescribers and their patients."
"The extended release tablet is the perfect pharmaceutical dosage form. It's a game changer for the medical community and solves many problems for patients," added Canntab CEO Jeffrey Renwick.
Shares of EMC have jumped ahead 2% just after the opening bell in Toronto to $1.54, while shares of PILL are up 6% at 89 cents.