Neurotech International (NTI) has appointed a health economic consultancy to analyse the cost benefit of adding its broad spectrum cannabinoid therapy, NTII64, to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The company said the study will “greatly assist NTI in future discussions with government and private players relating to the appropriate pricing and reimbursement” of the medicine.
Previous analysis has shown that while early intervention in autism has a material cost saving to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), “effective drug therapies for autism are lacking”, NTI said in its Q2 FY24 financial update to the ASX.
That gap could be plugged by the NTII64 drug, according to the firm.
NTI has already reported encouraging outcomes from a phase I/II clinical trial, with the results of a phase II/III trial expected before the end of March.
“With the explosion in autism-associated costs under the NDIS there is an urgent need for new enabling treatments like NTII64 which has been shown to significantly improve adaptive behaviours and socialisation and improve these children’s quality of life while reducing caregiver burden,” NTI said.
The consultancy assessment will also review the strength, quality and applicability of the clinical evidence base for a submission to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
Neurotech is also exploring the benefits of NTII64 for the treatment of Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS), Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) and Rett Syndrome.
The company has also applied for Human Research Ethics Committee approval to run a phase I/II trial for the treatment of cerebral palsy.
NTI said it has sufficient funds to complete all its planned clinical trials with A$4.5m of available cash.
During the October to December quarter the company reported total operating expenses of $1.9m.
AusCann is seeking to raise A$1 million through a share purchase plan with eligible shareholders able to apply for stock worth a maximum of $30,000.
The company said 62.5m shares will be made available at an offer price of $0.016c, a 60% discount to the last listing price of $0.04c in August 2022. Trading in AusCann shares was suspended from that date.
AusCann said the funds will help with operating expenditure, working capital and costs associated with readmission to the ASX.
Meanwhile, the firm has made another €1 million (A$1.6m) loan to WA-based partner, European Cannabis Corporation (ECC), to help launch a new range of products for the German market.
The funds will enable ECC subsidiary HAPA Pharma to develop products including teas, tablets and prefilled joints.
“The launch of these products, alongside the release of their second batch of high-quality medical cannabis will cater to a broader spectrum of patient needs,” AusCann said.