ASX-listed medical cannabis company Medlab (ASX: MDC) has announced a non-binding Heads of Agreement (HoA) with pharmaceutical company Arrotex.
The agreement is designed to “fast track” patient access to NanoCBD, a cannabis medicine created by Medlab. While NanoCBD is currently only available through the Special Access Scheme, it could be sold over-the-counter as a result of a decision made by Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in December.
Before it gets to pharmacy shelves, however, NanoCBD needs to be approved as a Schedule 3 medication by the TGA in a process that could take years.
To speed this process up, Medlab and Arrotex will work together to develop a clinical package and lodge an application. According to Medlab, the agreement is the first of its kind between a medical cannabis and pharmaceutical company.
Arrotex is Australia’s largest supplier of generic and private label drugs, supplying 85% of all prescriptions written by doctors. According to Arrotex Chairman and CEO Dennis Bastas, the agreement is a “significant opportunity” that will bring the company into the medical cannabis industry.
Medlabs is in a unique position to deliver the pharmaceutical standards of safety, stability, dose specifics and consistency that is a prerequisite of delivering pharmacist only medicines.
While medical cannabis has been allowed on pharmacy shelves since February 1st 2021, no products have been approved for sale over-the-counter so far. According to Australia’s Pharmacy Guild, it could stay that way for at least a year, possibly five years.
It is unclear when NanoCBD will reach pharmacy shelves, but Medlab and Arrotex believe they will reach a final agreement before July 1st this year.