Wellnex Life has added Chemist Warehouse to its joint venture with OneLife Botanicals as it seeks to launch medicinal cannabis products under the Special Access (SAS-B) Scheme.

Wellnex Life CEO George Karafotias

Under the deal with OneLife, Wellnex is developing a low-dose soft-gel capsule for the treatment of pain. It has a stated aim to be “one of the first companies to offer an over-the-counter medical cannabis product in Australia”.

The new arrangement will see Chemist Warehouse receive a 10% stake in that JV.

Wellnex told the ASX it will initially launch five medicinal cannabis products under a new brand available across the Chemist Warehouse network. 

It said the range had been developed “with consideration to the best-selling products currently in the market” across different formats. It will also be distributed via other wholesalers and pharmacies.

Meanwhile, the firm has reached an exclusive agreement with Australian-developed cannabis health app OnTracka to develop a new telehealth application to connect patients with Authorised Prescribers and relevant cannabis products.

Wellnex CEO George Karafotias said: “We are excited to be entering a rapidly transforming industry which is seeing surging consumer demand with growing recognition of the legitimacy of cannabis-based medicine by patients and prescribers.”

Creso Pharma

Creso Pharma has been formally censured by the ASX over an unapproved share issue involving founder and former chairman Adam Blumenthal.

Adam Blumenthal

The ASX said Creso had engaged in a “serious breach” of listing rule 10.11 in a A$5 million share placement managed by Blumenthal’s broking firm EverBlu Capital. The rule governs related-party transactions.

While accepting the decision, Creso insisted it did not consider a formal censure to be necessary and said it has since taken steps to prevent a recurrence.

It said during FY22 it appointed new CEO and managing director William Lay alongside new executive and non-executive directors, increasing its independence from 17% to 43%. It expects the board to be majority independent by the end of FY23.

Lay told shareholders: “The company’s new board and management have since undertaken a thorough review of its internal processes, particularly focused on the settlement of placements. 

“Upon completion of this review, Creso Pharma has implemented a refreshed set of controls to ensure a breach would not occur again in the future. 

“Management have also committed to regularly evaluate in-house practices as part of an ongoing review and focus on corporate governance.

“With this matter now resolved, the company looks forward to focusing on growth initiatives which are expected to unlock value for shareholders over the course of FY23 and beyond.”

MGC Pharmaceuticals

MGC Pharmaceuticals has enrolled the first UK patient to its ZAM app, enabling the firm to collect data from an observational study monitoring the effects of its CannEpil epilepsy treatment.

Roby Zomer
MGC Pharma managing director Roby Zomer

The app will record patient symptoms, and the impact of treatment, on a daily basis, providing doctors and MGC with an enhanced understanding of the effect of CannEpil on refractory epilepsy. It will also enable the prescription of alternative medication following a consultation.

MGC Pharma managing director Roby Zomer said: “The enrolment of the first patient… in the UK enables us to fully record the impact and efficacy of our products undergoing trials.

“Consolidation of data is of paramount importance in ensuring the safety and efficiency of MGC’s proprietary products, and we see the integration of both pharma and tech as a revolution in the clinical trial process.”

The ZAM app is a joint venture with developer Caba Tech

Zelira Therapeutics

Zelira has raised A$1.77 million to progress its clinical trials via a placement.

Zelira Therapeutics CEO Oludare Odumosu

Zelira said the funds would provide additional working capital to progress its ‘multiple shots on goal’ strategy for its proprietary formulations through US Food and Drug Administration clinical trials.

CEO Oludare Odumosu added: “We are very pleased with our successful direct capital raise and thank our existing investors that participated as well as welcoming new US-based investors onto the company’s register.”

He said the support reflected investor confidence in the company’s ability to build “meaningful long-term value” for them and patients.

Settlement is expected on March 17. 

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...

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