Helius Therapeutics

Helius Therapeutics has promoted director of commercial operations Julie Curphey to the role of chief commercial officer (CCO) as the New Zealand firm enters “delivery mode”.

Curphey held a number of senior positions at Pfizer in Australia, the UK and Europe for 11 years, and has spent the last five as chief marketing officer at Blis Technologies in Dunedin, NZ.

Helius chief commercial officer Julie Curphey

Chief executive Carmen Doran said: “Announcing Julie as our CCO reaffirms that Helius has a globally experienced team that’s busy getting the job done.

“We are now well and truly in delivery mode – serving Kiwi patients first and foremost then soon unleashing our export strategy.”

With extensive experience in technology, pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare and FMCG, the firm said Curphey brings “a strong track record in international product commercialisation and marketing, market research and customer insight, and change management”.

Curphey said: “There is considerable unmet need out there and much work to do to make medicinal cannabis as accessible as possible.

“[It] has the potential to become one of New Zealand’s largest export earners with the overseas demand for plant-based therapeutics expediential.

It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity for our country as we recover post pandemic,” she added.

Cannvalate/Tetra Bio-Pharma

Canadian firm Tetra Bio-Pharma has closed the first tranche of a private placement with Cannvalate resulting in the issue of more than 8.2 million common shares representing 1.95% of the total.

Shares were issued at C$0.06 each, raising $500,000, the first of seven distinct tranches which will result in aggregate proceeds of $7.5m.

Earlier this month, the two firms entered into an agreement to conduct clinical trials of Tetra’s cannabinoid drug candidates in Australia through Cannvalate’s wholly owned clinical research organisation Ingenu.

Tetra CEO Dr Guy Chamberland said: “We are encouraged by the partnership with Cannvalate and Ingenu as it will allow the company to further advance our Qixleef drug program, a promising alternative to opioids. 

“Many investigational new drugs fail trying to carve a use in the management of severe pain. Our interim clinical data demonstrates that Qixleef has the potential to make a significant difference in patients. Our new partners join us in the race to bring alternatives to pain management.”

Incannex Healthcare

Incannex has completed a pre-investigational new drug application meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss the development of its IHL-42X novel cannabinoid combination for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in adults.

Incannex said the response from the FDA was “constructive and supportive”, its interest in the project piqued by the significant cohort of people diagnosed with OSA and the absence of pharmacological treatment solutions.

The FDA provided guidance on Incannex’s proposed long-term development strategy, including specific parameters to demonstrate safety and efficacy in phase 2 and 3 pivotal studies. It agreed the company does not need to conduct studies in animals.

Medleaf Therapeutics

New Zealand firm Medleaf Therapeutics has had its first dried flower product verified by the country’s Medical Cannabis Agency.

Medleaf CEO Courtney Letica

Medleaf said the “medium THC whole flower shishkaberry” product will be the first of two larger-volume, value offerings “for what is intended to be a comprehensive suite of product offerings leading into 2023, satisfying a range for varying needs and tastes of our patients”.

CEO Courtney Letica added: “This verification has been a long time coming, with initial conversations to commercialisation taking just shy of two years. We‘re eager to finally be able to delight patients with an offering that is superior on all counts.”

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...