Earlier this month, we highlighted MediPharm Labs Corp., (TSX: LABS) (OTCQX: MEDIF) (FSE: MLZ) as an opportunity that is in the middle of a major transformation and is one that we are excited about. The Canadian cannabis company is considered to be a global leader in specialized, research-driven pharmaceutical-quality cannabis extraction, distillation and derivative products.
MediPharm has recently become highly focused on the biotech side of the cannabis industry and this is an opportunity that we are excited about. The company recently announced plans to conduct a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s proprietary cannabis-derived formulations and medical products. The initiative is also focused on the expansion of the intellectual property (IP) that is owned by the business and we are favorable on how it further differentiates the business.
The clinical trial is focused on the treatment of end-stage renal disease or Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The size of the total addressable market for this indication is significant and consider this to be an important aspect of the story. According to the National Kidney Foundation, 1 out of 10 people in the world suffer from kidney disease and this represents a major opportunity for MediPharm. According to the foundation, CKD causes more deaths than breast cancer or prostate cancer. CKD is the 9th leading cause of death in the US affects approx. 37 million people.
MediPharm is considered to be a global leader in specialized, research-driven pharmaceutical-quality cannabis extraction, distillation and derivative products. We consider the development to major milestone for the business and will monitor how the management team is able to execute on the opportunity.
Forms Strategic Relationship to Execute on Clinical Trials
Since we started to follow MediPharm, we have been impressed with the types of companies that it has formed relationships with. As it relates to the clinical trial, MediPharm decided to partner with Canadian firm, OTT Healthcare Inc. (OTT) and signed a Master Clinical Studies agreement.
As the expert principal investigator, OTT will study the pharmacokinetic (dosing) and safety profile of cannabinoid formulations for the CKD patient population and assess pain. OTT will determine Quality of Life (QOL) scores of patients who receive MediPharm Labs’ proprietary product formulations. In regard to the patient base, optimizing QOL is of high priority for MediPharm and we are closely following the progression of the study.
After the initial patient base receives MediPharm’s proprietary cannabis formulations, OTT will use the data to support follow-on randomized double-blind clinical trials to establish the safety and efficacy of these products. Any results from the study as well as the IP and inventions will be owned by MediPharm and we are favorable on the potential that is associated with the study.
MediPharm Labs and OTT Healthcare will co-develop the study drugs that will be evaluated and name each principal investigator physician. The principal investigators will be accountable for the direction of each study and will be chosen because of their leadership in the field of Nephrology.
We believe that clinical trials of this nature position the cannabis industry for the development of safe, effective pharmaceutical-grade products and we are favorable on the direction that the management team is taking the business.
A Growth Story that is Flying Under the Radar
During the last few years, MediPharm has established itself as a leading producer of pharmaceutical quality cannabis active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and formulations. The company is well positioned to support clinical trials that are focused on nephrology and provide novel formulations.
The start of the clinical trial represents a new chapter for MediPharm and we are bullish on the growth prospects that are associated with it. The clinical trial shows how much the business has evolved and how it is growing as a research-driven pharmaceutical focused company that has global aspirations.
In late 2019, MediPharm was granted a cannabis research license from Health Canada to conduct controlled human administration trials of dried cannabis, cannabis extracts and concentrates, distillates, oil, edibles, topicals and terpenes. We are impressed with how the story has advanced since then and believe that the opportunity is flying under the radar.
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