Despite all the hype internationally around medicinal cannabis as legislators start to look more favourably on its extracted compounds for health treatments, shortcomings in data-based evidence remain an obstacle for many doctors and patients.
This is especially the case in the much-feted UK market, where a general reluctance pervades the health establishment when it comes to prescriptions.
There have been inroads to develop the market however, including from ASX-listed companies such as Medlab Clinical (ASX: MDC), Little Green Pharma (ASX: LGP), Cann Group (ASX: CAN), Althea Group (ASX: AGH), Bod Australia (ASX: BOD) and Elixinol Global (ASX: EXL).
Today another Australian company can be added to that list - Emerald Clinics (ASX: EMD), which listed on the ASX earlier this year with a value proposition combining its clinics and a platform that captures anonymous, trial-grade data from medicinal cannabis patients.
Emerald has entered a deal with Spectrum Biomedical UK (SBUK), the UK subsidiary of the world's largest cannabis company Canopy Growth, to develop a real-world evidence (RWE) system in the UK.
EMD shares had risen 39.5 per cent to $0.06 each by the time the market closed today, but they had reached as high as $0.12 after the announcement was made this morning.
The RWE asset will focus on the safety and clinical outcomes for cannabis-based medicines produced by SBUK.
As part of this arrangement, Emerald will collection of specific data points including de-identified patient information, the use of concomitant medicines, prescribed usage and diagnoses, and a range of patient-reported outcome measures.
"We are honoured to embrace this opportunity to work with Spectrum Biomedical UK and the Canopy growth team to realise the potential for a Real-World Evidence asset which will help to progress the commercialisation and regulatory acceptance of its medicinal cannabis products," says Emerald Clinics CEO Dr Michael Winlo (pictured).
"The evidence and data gathered by Emerald is of exceptional quality and depth, and therefore relevant to licensed producers, regulators, prescribers and importantly, the end patient.
"We expect to generate more deals with corporate partners to deliver on our IPO goals and to expand our unique RWE model globally."
As part of the contract with SBUK, Emerald will maintain independence in how it delivers the clinical care to patients, allowing the ability to establish a UK-based clinic or partner with existing services.
"Cannabinoid based medicines continue to be an important alternative for patients who have exhausted conventional therapies and through careful monitoring, remain a significant source of real world data for exploration of novel interventions for a range of clinical indications including pain, insomnia and PTSD," adds Emerald Clinics medical director Dr Alistair Vickery.
Industry analysis from Prohibition Partners has forecast the UK medicinal cannabis market could reach almost £1 billion by 2024 with more than 340,000 patients accessing cannabinoid-based medicines.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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