Exclusive cannabis deal makes its mark on Impression Healthcare

Exclusive cannabis deal makes its mark on Impression Healthcare

Impression Healthcare (ASX: IHL) might be known for its work in dental impressions, but the Melbourne-based group has ambitions to become a serious medicinal cannabis player too.

Following its collaboration agreement with US cannabis pharmaceutical company AXIM Biotechnologies announced in late September, the company has now secured an important licence to distribute cannabis-based Dronabinol capsules.

The deal with Resolution Chemicals Limited (ResoChem) will give Impression Healthcare an exclusive license to produce, register and commercialise Dronabinol, a THC-based capsule used to treat loss of appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, pain management and sleep apnoea.

Dronabinol was the first cannabinoid medicine permitted for patient use by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the United States, and a synthetic Dronabinol has been marketed under the trade name Marinol since 1986.

With the patents for Marinol now expired, Impression Healthcare will produce and commercialise a generic version of the drug in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Impression Healthcare CEO Joel Latham says the agreement is part of Impression's strategy to become a major player in the emerging cannabinoid medicine market.

"Dronabinol has a long-recognised history of safe use and, by pursuing this market, we have the opportunity to create a generic Dronabinol product to grow revenues within new markets for which attitudes for the use of cannabinoid medicines has changed rapidly," says Latham.

"Our objective now is to develop and manufacture relevant products for each country as quickly as possible and we have a number of options in relation to manufacturers."

First listed in 2007, Impression Healthcare has been a disruptive player in the at-home dental impressions market and saw an increase in revenues of 359 per cent in the 2018 financial year.

Its pivot to medicinal cannabis is part of a growing trend from ASX listed companies, medicinal or otherwise.

The company first announced its intention to become a cannabis player with its agreement with AXIM Biotechnologies on 19 September 2018.

Headquartered in New York City, AXIM is focused on research, development and production of pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic and oral health products incorporating cannabinoids.

AXIM's CanChew Gum is a patented, functional, industrial hemp derived CBD-rich chewing gum, which is legal in all 50 states in the USA and over 40 countries worldwide.

Shares in Impression Healthcare are up 30.44 per cent to $0.03 per share at 11am AEDT.

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