After receiving formal authorisation to sell its “CannEpil” epilepsy drug treatment in Australia in October, ASX listed biotech, MGC Pharmaceuticals, has reached another milestone, with the arrival of the first product by air freight from Slovenia this week.
CannEpil is a cannabis-derived drug and was developed to assist epilepsy sufferers control their neurological disorder that is characterised by seizures, particularly where traditional drugs and medicines have no discernible impact on the condition.
The company said that all Australian import authorisations are in place to allow immediate transport to a secure facility at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne.
CannEpil will be available for supply through authorised prescribers, endorsed by the Human Research Ethics Committee at St Vincent’s.
According to company management, some Australian medical practitioners have already been granted approval as authorised prescribers of CannEpil.
MGC and pharmaceutical distributor HL Pharma are now able to arrange the supply of CannEpil for patients who have been prescribed the product by an authorised prescriber.
The company has previously said that the sale of CannEpil through specialist providers in Australia is expected to generate an initial $1m in annualised revenue from an initial base of about 100 patients.
The authorisation to sell the drug treatment followed an endorsement by the St Vincent’s Ethics Committee for the use of CannEpil in the treatment of adults with drug-resistant epilepsy.
MGC Pharmaceuticals Managing Director Roby Zomer said:
The arrival of CannEpil in Australia is a great achievement for us on our pathway to growing and commercialising MXC as a European-based biopharma company. We are all very excited that CannEpil is now available for supply to patients in Australia, which is the first key market for the company to deliver CannEpil into with more to follow during 2019.
MGC is the only medical cannabis company listed on the ASX with a combined Israeli, European and Australian clinical research strategy.
Back in August, MGC also received a key ethics approval to conduct phase two clinical trials into the benefits of its “CogniCann” product that is used to treat dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.
CogniCann is a “good manufacturing practice” or GMP certified, pharmaceutical grade, medicinal cannabis product with a specific ratio of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol designed for the treatment of key dementia symptoms.
The drug seeks to improve specific cognitive functions.
A 16-week West Australian based trial will be undertaken by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Health Research early next year, subject to approval by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration authority.
Construction is also expected to start soon on MGC’s Maltese based medical cannabis production and cultivation facility.
Medical cannabis from the Maltese operation will be used to produce a GMP-grade pharmaceutical product on a commercial scale for sale into the European Union market.
MGC quotes market research company Mordor Intelligence’s statement that the global nutraceuticals market, which includes the cannabis industry, is projected to reach a heady USD$560 billion by 2020.
The company is targeting several key geographic regions with its cannabis-based products, including Europe, the US and Australia.
It continues its quest to focus on research, development and production of further cannabis based medicinal products to bring to the market.