There are several approaches to developing the cannabis plant for medical uses. One utilizes the entire plant as is; another produces a specific special active ingredient and uses it as a drug.
MedC Biopharma combines the two approaches. It is developing a therapy on a full licensing track for a new drug, together with the approach that asserts that a combination of active ingredients from the plant produces a better response than a single active ingredient (the entourage effect). The product is developed from several cannabis components, but acts as a drug for all intents and purposes.
Canadian company MedC's founders, president and chairperson Avi Drori and CEO Guy Drori, are real estate and agricultural developers in Israel, the US and other countries. They have focused on the cannabis sector in recent years, searched for opportunities in Israel, and settled on a product developed at the Agricultural Research Organization of Israel (ARO) - the Volcani Center.
"Our product is based on production of specific particles in the plant, a combination of several of its molecules in a very precise dosage. Our formulation has no active ingredients that were not previously identified, but the selection of these ingredients and the precise ratios between them make this product unusual, as opposed to use of the complete cannabis plant or use of a single active ingredient, which makes it possible to register a patent on it and develop it as a drug," Guy Drori explains.
The first product is designed for treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a rare type of skin cancer. The product was tested on cancer cells at the Volcani Center, but has not yet been tried on animals or human beings.
MedC has raised $5 million in addition to millions of dollars invested by its founders. The leading investor in the company is AgMedica Bioscience, a Canadian cannabis company. MedC is planning an offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2019.
Another investor in MedC is Owen Van Cauwenberghe, a senior Canadian drug industry executive, who currently owns a company that invests in the pharma sector.
Heading MedC's advisory board is Dr. Orna Dreazen, CEO and chairperson of drug formulations company Nextar. MedC and Nextar also signed an agreement under which Nextar will develop the formulations of MedC's products for cancer and in other fields. The next areas in which Nextar will focus are psoriasis and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Nextar is a veteran company developing drug formulations for many pharmaceutical companies in Israel. In recent years, it has begun specializing in development of formulations for cannabis, among other things in the framework of the Nextage private technology incubator.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 1, 2019
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019