Israeli drug delivery company LDS Biotech has signed an agreement in which its technology will be used as the basis for a medical cannabis product to be marketed in the US. Ananda, the US distributor, estimates that its annual revenue will exceed $10 million, an (undisclosed) percentage of which will be given to LDS.
LDS's platform makes it possible to extract the CBD component, an active ingredient with no psychoactive effect, from the cannabis plant, and to produce from that ingredient a drug that can be taken orally. LDS founder and CEO Nissim Garti, Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor of physical and colloid chemistry, said, "Today, marijuana growers are capable of developing strains of the plant that are rich in CBD and contain little THC, which is the narcotic ingredient. When these ingredients are taken orally, however, the digestive system turns the CBD back into THC, resulting in an undesirable effect." The LDS system carries the wrapped and protected ingredient into the intestine, where it attaches itself to the intestinal walls and decomposes the ingredient into the bloodstream.
According to Garti, CBD is an ingredient in the cannabis plant recognized as significant in the treatment of pain and inflammation. These results have also been confirmed in animal trials by LDS. Garti says that this ingredient is also likely to prove relevant in treatment of autism and epilepsy, where it is especially important to prevent the psychoactive effect of cannabis. Garti adds that the body's response time to the ingredient with LDS's technology is 30 minutes, compared with four hours with other cannabis compounds.
Ananda has already launched and sold the products in all US states in which marketing medical cannabis is legal. The product is sold over-the-counter in liquid form, a gel for serving with a teaspoon, or drops to be administered orally.
Garti emphasizes that the interactive effect of various ingredients in the cannabis plant is currently being studied, including by LDS itself, and that the company's technology makes it possible to extract all of the active ingredient in the plant, and to use it with LDS's drug delivery technology.
LDS was commercialized by Yissum Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Garti himself (who has already sold a number of food additive companies) and private investors from Austria have invested $3 million in the company.
LDS's technology has already been used by a number of major pharmaceutical firms to develop orally administered drugs or to improve delivery for drugs unrelated to cannabis. The company has posted $2.5 million in revenue so far from these agreements, and the products are in clinical or pre-clinical trials. If the trials are successful, the agreements will yield LDS substantial additional revenue.
The CBD product marketed by Ananada is expected to be the first based on LDS's technology to reach the market.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 4, 2016
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