Tetra is set to receive pharmaceutical grade cannabis flower from Akanda in a microdose form. It is to be used in a vaporizer for commercialization of the company’s drug QIXLEEFTM. According to the deal, Akanda will also be a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) for the clinical drug and supply programs. As the deal benefits Tetra by ensuring a steady supply of quality ingredients and good services, it also benefits Akanda as it became CDMO adding to EU GMP cannabis manufacturer, making it the first entrant in the cannabinoid drug development market.
QIXLEEFTM is a new drug that is being examined by the FDA in two clinical trials to assess the efficacy and safety when consumed by patients with advanced cancer. Total estimated market for the product is $1.7B by 2028, according to the partnered companies.
Known for medical cannabis, Akanda is an international organization headquartered in New Romney, Kent, England. It is dedicated to improve the quality of lives by better access to good quality and inexpensive products. Akanda’s portfolio includes companies from all over the globe. The company caters to distributors as well as clinics directly.
Tetra Bio-Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The company has many subsidiaries that work on a number of pharmaceutical segments for the discovery and development of cannabinoid-derived molecules. Due to its evidence-based methodology, the company has successfully developed a pipeline of drug products that are cannabinoid based for a number of conditions like inflammation, oncology and pain.
According to the agreement Akanda is to supply finest quality THC and CBD flower to Tetra Bio-Pharma along with pharmaceutical manufacturing services for the clinical drug QIXLEEFTM. Third quarter of the year will see the start of the drug’s supply, possibly increasing in the coming years due to the commercialization of Tetra’s cannabinoid based medications and increasing demand.
A variety of services will be delivered by Akanda, which include stability tests and quality control among others. Stability tests will be conducted in Akanda’s own lab. If FDA approves the drug, the expected annual supply obligations could possibly go over ten metric tonnes.
Tej Virk, Akanda CEO said, “This supply agreement with Tetra is a major milestone in Akanda’s journey in becoming a cannabis platform company serving all regulated markets in the EMEA region. In support of a tremendous partner with a goal to improve patient health and quality of life through cannabinoid-based medicine, we are demonstrating that cannabis can fit into the traditional public sector model.”
He also mentioned that upon approval, the company could provide ingredients for the authorized compound, which would improve their revenue stream. He also gave credit for this opportunity to Akanda’s acquisition of Holigen back in May.
The President of Akanda, Dr. Akkar-Schenkl said that the partnership resulted in the shift of their Sintra facility into the global Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization for cannabinoid based products. He further said that both the partnered companies aim to be the ambassadors of treatment when it comes to cancer pain.
Guy Chamberland (Ph.D, M.Sc), Tetra’s CEO and Chief Regulatory Officer believes that Akanda will bring in a lot of quality, but will also provide fast paced automation of Tetra’s processes and capacity enhancement, together reducing the cost of goods sold by two-thirds.
Akanda’s cannabinoid drug development could be fruitful for a long time due to the mutual benefits reaped by both the parties, and Akanda being the first entrant in the said market.