MGC Pharmaceuticals and its research partner RMIT have been awarded a cannabis cultivation research licence from the Australian Office of Drug Control. This allows the partners to advance research on the optimisation of breeding and cultivating processes and the extraction of material to conduct pre-clinical research assessing the efficacy of medical cannabis on prostate, melanoma and other cancer cells.
MGC Pharmaceuticals has taken a key step forward in its seed-to-pharmacy strategy after securing a cannabis cultivation research licence from the Australian Office of Drug Control.
The licence allows the company and its research partner the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, or “RMIT”, to cultivate cannabis for research at their state-of-the-art facility in Melbourne.
The research will focus on the optimisation of breeding and cultivating processes and the extraction of material to assess their efficacy of medical cannabis on prostate, melanoma and other cancer cells.
All intellectual property from the trials will be owned by MGC, which is funding the research.
Earlier this year, MGC and RMIT received approval from the Office of Drug Control to possess and handle phytocannabinoids derived from medical cannabis plants for research purposes.
Managing Director Roby Zomer said: “Receiving the Cannabis Research Licence from the Australian Government Office of Drug Control is another major step forward for MGC Pharma as we look to deliver on our seed to pharmacy strategy.”
“The licence enables our strategic alliance with RMIT to advance on its objective to establish a world first library of cannabis medicines, as well as conducting ground-breaking pre-clinical research into the positive effects that medicinal cannabis may have on specific cancers.”
Securing the licence marks the next step in the alliance between MGC and RMIT, which dates back to August 2017.
This agreement included MGC partially funding a state-of-the-art cultivation, extraction and research facility within RMIT, while RMIT agreed to dedicate the facility and additional laboratories to the project for a minimum period of five years.
MGC and RMIT agreed to initially establish a library of cannabis medicine and investigate the positive effects of medicinal cannabis-derived formulations on several types of cancer and cancer side effects.
Separately, the company recently started recruiting patients aged 65 and over for the 16-week Phase IIB clinical trial for its CogniCann medical cannabis product for the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The trial at the University of Notre Dame in WA will be carried out on 50 patients to assess the effects of the treatment on the symptoms of mild dementia and Alzheimer’s and potentially improve the patient’s quality of life.
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