Shares in medicinal cannabis company Althea (ASX: AGH) rose slightly in morning trading after the group revealed strong results in the first quarter along with positive inroads in Canada and the UK.
The Melbourne-based company reported an unaudited revenue of $755,385, up 184 per cent on the previous quarter.
"We are very pleased with what was another successful quarter for Althea," says CEO and founder Josh Fegan (pictured), who will be a finalist at the Business News Australia Melbourne Young Entrepreneur Awards 2019 which is due to take place on 25 October.
"With strong growth across key metrics at home and accelerating expansion abroad, we feel that we are well-positioned to become a global leader in the supply of high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade medicinal cannabis products," he says.
Althea highlights a significant step up in patient and prescriber numbers in the September quarter, with 2,329 patients prescribed by the end of the period.
The group now has 319 Australian healthcare professionals who have prescribed its products, which are supplied by Canadian partner, investor and licensed producer Aphria Inc.
"Aphria continues to support Althea and their growing patient base with our high quality medical cannabis products and they remain a priority partner, strategically and financially," says Aphria CEO Irwin Simon.
In October Althea shareholders approved a transaction to acquire Canadian company Peak Processing Solutions, which produces and distributes cannabis-infused edibles, drinks, nutraceuticals and cosmetics products from its 40,000 square foot facility in Tecumseh, Ontario.
The acquisition was supported by a $30 million institutional capital raising, and the acquired company has a contract manufacturing deal with Wildleaf to produce cannabis-infused beverages throughout Canada.
Peak has also entered into a research partnership with the University of Windsor in Ontario to explore the formulation of novel cannabinoid nanoemulsion systems for incorporation into cannabis-infused products including beverages, edibles and topicals.
"With cannabis 2.0 about to come into effect in Canada, we also believe that Peak is well positioned to achieve Health Canada licencing in early 2020 and, judging by customer interest, will certainly hit the ground running with production," says Fegan.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank shareholders for their support of the Peak acquisition and Althea's continued growth."
After receiving its first patient prescription in the UK in July, Althea reports a dozen more patients have been prescribed its products in the country while further shipments are planned with import licences currently being assessed by the UK Home Office.
Althea claims it continues to receive support from specialist prescribers, patients, advocacy groups and regulators in the UK, and remains confident that patient numbers will increase rapidly as the early-stage UK market matures.
Of the patients which have been prescribed Althea medicinal cannabis in the UK to date, most have been assessed at Althea's wholly owned 'MyAccess Clinics', which was initially just in London but a second clinic has opened in Bristol while a third clinic is expected to be opened in the current quarter.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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