Shares in Australian firm Medlab Clinical Ltd. (ASX: MDC) soared by 15% after it was granted a license to export cannabis across the globe. It became only the second listed Australian company to earn an export license, as the country’s Office of Drug Control is wrestling with a huge backlog of applications.
Medlab Clinical will now be able to export two cannabis-based medicines, NanaBis and NanaBidial.
Chief executive Sean Hall now plans to enter into formal trade discussions with retailers in various markets around the world as he bids to grow the firm’s footprint.
“This licence is a welcome addition to our other approvals, allowing Medlab to research, manufacture, conduct research trials, supply within Australia, and now, pending the right partner, foreign markets,” he said.
Hall founded Medlab in 2012 after selling family companies BioCeuticals and Hall Drug Technologies to Blackmores. It was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2015, and now shares are trading at about the AUS$0.48 ($0.34) mark.
It has a patented platform called NanoCelle, which it uses to deliver tiny particles of active pharmaceutical ingredients into the side of the cheek, bypassing the need to swallow anything. It also ensures the ingredients hit the bloodstream quicker. NanaBis is a CBD extract and NanaBidial is an extract of THC and CBD.
The firm has just revealed early research results from a clinical trial that the University of Sydney is conducting into its NanoCelle platform. They show a consistent uniform pattern in nanoparticle form, and Hall is upbeat about its chances of future success.
“These results provide a significant level of confidence in Medlab’s NanoCelle platform and further confirms specific proposed functions for Medlab’s cannabis medicines,” he said. “These results, in conjunction with the early positive feedback from doctors prescribing NanaBis under the TGA’s Special Access Scheme, gives Medlab great confidence in its NanoCelle research.”
The company is advanced when it comes to developing therapies for depression, pain management and obesity.
Marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes in Australia and there are 27 listed companies involved in the sector, although only half are licensed. That is due to the Office of Drug Control creaking under demand for licenses in this burgeoning new industry.
The vast majority of the cannabis sold legally in Australia is imported from countries like Canada. Yet the first Australian-grown medicinal cannabis products are starting to hit shelves after much campaigning from a group called United in Compassion.
Founder Lucy Haslam, who started lobbying when her son Dan was dying from cancer, said Australia had been failing its patients due to convoluted bureaucracy and sky-high costs. There is now set to be a huge increase in cannabis products made in Australia, and they’re starting to export too as the industry gathers pace.