CARABOODA, Western Australia, April 28, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — AusCann Group Holdings Ltd (ASX:AC8 or ‘the Company’) has today announced its appendix 4C for the 3 month period ended 31 March 2017 and is pleased to provide an overview of its activities for the quarter.
On 3 February 2017, AusCann successfully completed a reverse takeover of TWH Holdings (TWH) and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. As part of the transaction, the Company completed a $5million capital raise that received strong support from institutional and high net worth domestic and international investors. The capital raise provided the Company with the necessary funding to drive forward its Chilean cultivation operation and its licensing applications for growing operations in Australia. The Company is continuously being presented with opportunities in the sector and our Board is focused on balancing the ability to accelerate AusCann’s development and maximising returns to shareholders.
The Company’s share price has performed positively since listing, reflecting the strong positive market sentiment towards the sector.
The Company closed the quarter with a cash position of $4.488 million.
AusCann continues to leverage its partnership with Canopy Growth Corporation, one of Canada’s largest and leading medicinal cannabis companies, drawing on their expertise in the cultivation, manufacture and importation and exportation of products. Canopy is a substantial shareholder in AusCann, with approximately 11% shareholding, and an important strategic partner with AusCann able to import and sell Canopy’s products within the Australian market. Canopy’s experience and skilled management team will continue to support AusCann to the benefit of all shareholders.
The Company is initially targeting the treatment of neuropathic and chronic pain, which have a combined market opportunity of over $5 billion in Australia alone1. In 2017, a report by the American National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found there is strong and conclusive evidence for medical cannabis as an effective medication in treating chronic pain in adults, chemotherapy-induced nausea and multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms. This conclusive clinical data supports medicinal cannabis as a viable treatment and has provided strong validation for the industry globally.
Prior to the quarter, AusCann, in partnership with its joint venture partner Fundacion Daya in Chile, planted its first crop at a 30-hectare facility south of Santiago, Chile. The crop was harvested in April and with the 400 plants yielding over 300kgs of dried cannabis to be processed for clinical trials and sale to third parties.
AusCann has also been establishing and implementing an awareness campaign focused on advising Australian doctors on the therapeutic merits of medical cannabis, encouraging medical specialists to apply to become authorised prescribers of cannabis medicines, and driving the prescription and growth of medical cannabis in Australia. The first of the educational roadshows will commence in May with seminars being undertaken by Canadian physician Dr Danial Schecter. As a recognized medical expert in the field of prescription cannabinoids and medical cannabis, Dr. Schecter has given numerous presentations to fellow physicians and developed educational programs on this subject in Canada.
AusCann lodged its cultivation and manufacturing licence applications with the Office of Drug Control at the end of 2016 and is in regular dialogue with them. Whilst there is no guarantee on whether these licences will ultimately be issued, nor the timing, the Company remains confident that it is able to satisfy all the requirements to be granted the licences in due course.
Favourable Regulatory Environment
Positive changes in federal legislation signified a move to facilitate faster access to medical cannabis for patients and a more streamlined importation process. This should allow AusCann to import product ahead of time to meet demand from authorised prescribers and be able to provide patient access much more efficiently. This should significantly accelerate AusCann’s timeline in being able to supply Australian patients.
Promising harvest results
Of the strains harvested four have been selected as superior strain that have been clonally selected for future crops. Pending successful clinical trials in Chile, the medicinal cannabis formulations will be registered with the Chilean National Institute of Public Health that will enable the product to be made available for sale to Chilean patients and export markets. Furthermore, the South American market represents a significant opportunity for AusCann. Argentina, Chile’s neighbouring country, has recently given legislative approval to legalise the use of cannabis oil and other cannabis derivatives for medicinal purposes and established a medical cannabis research program to provide access for patients.
The Company is also advancing its plans to establish and grow in Australia and supply Australian cannabis. Pending granting of the relevant licensing to produce in Australia AusCann is well positioned via its partnership with Canopy to import high quality cannabis medicines for Australian patients.
Elaine Darby, Managing Director, AusCann commented: “We’re delighted with the harvest of our first crop and we’re confident we have selected the strongest and most appropriate strains for effective medicine formulations going forward in the next harvest. We intend to leverage our knowledge gained from Chile into the Australian market, along with the expertise and knowledge from our Canadian partner Canopy. I am looking forward to commencing our educational campaign and starting to engage directly with Australian doctors to increase awareness and understanding of potential therapeutic uses of medical cannabis for particular indications.”
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ABOUT AUSCANN GROUP
AusCann is an Australian based company that was incorporated in September 2014 with the aim of producing and providing high quality, economical and clinically validated cannabis medicines to patients. It is bringing together leading expertise and operations across all aspects of the medical cannabis value chain, beginning with cultivation and production, through to manufacture and distribution of products and has built a strong team of experts and partners with international connections. Partners includes TSX listed Canopy Growth Corporations the largest producer of medicinal cannabis globally and DayaCann, the only licensed medicinal cannabis grower in Chile.