Canadian Manufacturing

Avicanna advances epilepsy program with collaboration with UHN and GMP Manufacturing

UHN scientists will be analyzing Avicanna’s RHO Phyto™ cannabinoid-based products for their efficacy on comorbidities and seizure control.

January 6, 2021  by CM Staff

TORONTO — Avicanna Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of plant-derived cannabinoid-based products, announces that the Company has entered into a master services agreement with the University Health Network (“UHN”) for projects to be performed by Dr. Peter Carlen as the principal investigator related to epilepsy. Additionally, the company has completed the technical transfer and first pharmaceutical pilot production of its epilepsy drug candidate at Altea Farmaceutica S.A. in Bogota, Colombia, a major step required for the final preparation for its registration and commercialization in South America.

The epilepsy research collaboration is lead by Dr. Peter Carlen, who is a Senior Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute at UHN and a researcher in the field of epilepsy. Dr. Carlen’s laboratory will be analyzing Avicanna’s RHO Phyto and pharmaceutical cannabinoid-based products for their efficacy in the treatment of seizures. The partnership will also co-develop a high throughput electrophysiological testing system for the evaluation of multiple cannabinoid ratios and in combination with standard epileptic drugs. In addition, the system will examine standard anti-seizure drugs for their efficacy in the model and determine the potential synergistic value of adjunctive cannabinoids, and cannabinoids as monotherapy in treating seizures in this in vitro setting.

Dr. Peter Carlen commented: “The Carlen lab is very pleased to research the relationships between the premium medicinal cannabinoid products of Avicanna and their effects on epilepsy. Also, in collaboration with Avicanna, we are developing a high-throughput platform to assess these interactions. We think that medical cannabinoids will have a major impact on brain health, particularly as we gain greater understanding of their effects on brain function in health and disease.”

Avicanna also completed its first pharmaceutical level production of its first epilepsy drug candidate under GMP and ICH guidelines which are necessary for sanitary drug registration. The formulation developed by Avicanna includes active pharmaceutical ingredients which are cannabinoids produced by Avicanna’s subsidiary Santa Marta Golden Hemp S.A.S. The final GMP manufacturing took place at Avicanna’s exclusive manufacturing partner’s, Altea’s, facility in Bogota, which is a Health Canada and ANVISA (Brazil) approved GMP facility. The completion of this pharmaceutical production now allows Avicanna to proceed with drug registrations for epilepsy across several markets in South America including Colombia and Brazil.

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