AUT and PharmaCann collaborate

02 Jul, 2018
AUT and PharmaCann collaborate

AUT has partnered with PharmaCann New Zealand Ltd to research the development of medicinal cannabis products in New Zealand.

AUT Dean of Health and Environmental Sciences Max Abbott and PharmaCann CEO Chris Fowlie have signed an agreement outlining collaboration between AUT’s Drug Delivery Research Group (DDRG) and Auckland-based PharmaCann.

“It is important to increase scientific understanding of the ways in which cannabis and cannabis derivatives can benefit health. It is also important that these products are of known and reliable quality and are affordable,” says Professor Abbott.

“PharmaCann intends to develop innovative cannabis-based products for therapeutic use by New Zealand patients and to serve global markets,” says PharmaCann CEO Chris Fowlie. “Our partnership with AUT will help accelerate product development and ensure products are rigorously assessed and made to the highest standards.”

The parties aim to have therapeutic formulations developed and in clinical trials by the time new government regulations for cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis-based products (CBPs) in New Zealand come into force, probably next year.

Although New Zealand doctors can now prescribe the medical product cannabidiol (CBD), it can only be sourced from overseas and is not eligible for Pharmac funding, making it prohibitively expensive and out of reach of most New Zealanders.

“Our vision is to develop and manufacture in New Zealand natural cannabis-based products that are as good as anything available overseas, at more affordable prices for patients,” says Fowlie.

AUT’s Drug Delivery Research Group will work on extraction of medicinal compounds from locally grown plants and the development of oral and topical (skin) formulation.