Helius Therapeutics has become the first medicinal cannabis company in New Zealand to have an active ingredient made from locally grown cannabis plants and extracted in NZ verified by the Medicinal Cannabis Agency as meeting the quality standard.
The active ingredient was developed at the firm’s manufacturing site in East Auckland from dried flower grown by organic-certified medicinal cannabis cultivator Puro.
In January, Helius signed a multi-million-dollar, five-year supply deal with Puro and in April, its licence was renewed and expanded by the regulator, enabling it to make active ingredients onsite from raw cannabis material.
The CBD extract will be used in a wide range of pharmaceutical dosage forms for Kiwi patients initially, with finished products then exported around the world.
Chief executive Carmen Doran said: “This is another first for Helius and a significant milestone for our industry. Wholly New Zealand grown and made medicinal cannabis products will soon be a reality.
“It’s exciting for local patients keen to legally access truly Kiwi products which are both high quality and cost-effective.”
New Zealand firm Greenfern Industries (GFI) is exploring an opportunity to distribute US Food and Drug Administration-approved cannabinoid medicine Syndros via a deal with Cannvalate.
Syndros is a liquid cannabinoid for adults used to treat cancer patients suffering from chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and loss of appetite in people with AIDS who have lost weight.
GFI has signed a non-binding term sheet with Australian-based Cannvalate which would see Cannvalate incorporate a new entity to acquire the exclusive rights and licence to distribute Syndros in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands.
GFI would then acquire the new company subject to conditions, including regulatory and shareholder approval.
Managing director Dan Casey said: “Syndros is widely used in North America and is one of the few cannabinoid-based drugs that are approved by the FDA.
“Given the stringent and laborious process of having a drug approved with the FDA, there’s extensive data that can be used for GFI to pursue a similar authority with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia and Medsafe in New Zealand.
Should the deal go ahead, GFI will pay NZ$5m to Cannvalate in respect of the Syndros licence and distribution rights held by the new company, either in cash and/or through the issue of new GFI shares.
Tilray Medical has received approval and verification from the Natural Health Science Foundation (NHSF) for its Tilray Purified Oral Solution CBD100 product to be used in clinical trials in Australia and New Zealand.
The NHSF is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that assists patients, consumers and healthcare professionals in making informed natural medicine choices based on robust science.
In addition to NHSF approval, the New Zealand ministry of health has verified that Tilray’s product has met its quality standards.
General manager, Tilray Medical ANZ George Polimenakos said: “We are extremely pleased with this outcome and proud to provide EU-GMP certified products to patients in Australia and New Zealand.
“Having our product quality validated by the NHSF demonstrates Tilray’s commitment to delivering the highest quality cannabis products to our patients.”
Creso Pharma has completed the acquisition of US-based wellness brand Sierra Sage Herbs.
The deal, first announced in February, will given ASX-listed Creso its first foothold in the US. The transaction has seen the owners of SSH receive 357 million Creso shares.
Along with the established distribution network in the US, Creso has already signed non-binding agreements to sell SSH’s range of plant-based and CBD products in Australia, Taiwan and Singapore.
Sierra Sage Herbs, which has products in the first aid, beauty, sexual wellness, women’s health and pet markets, generated revenue of US$5.7m in 2021.
Creso chief executive and managing director Will Lay said: “Completion of this transaction highlights a major growth opportunity for Creso Pharma. In recent months we have been working closely with SSH’s management team and delivered a number of agreements that can unlock value for shareholders.
“We plan to expedite similar opportunities in the near term to increase SSH’s existing revenue profile and utilise the group’s established footprint to benefit other business divisions.”
Among Creso’s business divisions to benefit will be its sport-focused CBD range Impactive, which will be marketed and sold through SSH’s distribution points in the US.
ASX-listed plant-based food, nutraceutical and skincare company Live Verdure has acquired Edible Beauty in a A$1 million cash-plus-scrip deal.
Skincare firm Edible Beauty, which caters for women aged 26 to 44, reported revenues of $2.2 million in FY22, with 74% of sales coming from direct-to-consumer channels in Australia and New Zealand.