MGC Pharma (ASX: MXC) is one step closer to making its mark on the recently legalised medicinal cannabis market in Great Britain, with the announcement today the first shipment of its CannEpil solution has landed in the UK.
The milestone follows an exclusive distribution agreement reached with Grow Biotech and IPS Specials, leaders in the UK market with networks of more than 5,500 pharmacies.
Uptake has been challenging in the market since medicinal cannabis was legalised in November 2018 as prescriptions are reportedly difficult to obtain, but MGC sees promise with its new partners which were the first to provide patients with the medicine directly in mid-February.
Grow Biotech and IPS have already received initial prescriptions for MGC's proprietary formula CannEpil, which is an oral solution used to relieve symptoms such as seizures associated with severe epilepsy cases.
"The first CannEpil shipment landing in the UK represents a true milestone in the history of MGC Pharma and the relief from symptoms of epilepsy," says MGC co-founder and managing director Roby Zomer.
"The legalisation of medicinal cannabis passed in the UK only 7 months ago, and the subsequent increasing interest in CannEpil leading to orders from medical professionals, is testament to the importance of our products into the fast-growing UK market, and beyond.
"Over half a million people in the UK suffer from epilepsy, and CannEpil has the potential to significantly enhance the lives of sufferers."
Grow Biotech COO Hari Guliani is upbeat about opportunities for MGC's products like CannEpil.
"We are excited to be able to offer MGC Pharma's range of products in the UK market, which provide new options to the limited range currently available for doctors in the UK," says Guliani.
"Our agreement with MGC Pharma marks an important step towards being able to help doctors achieve the patient outcomes we are all committed to."
MGC also points to research from Prohibition Partners projecting the UK medicinal cannabis market will be worth 8.8 billion euros (AUD$14 billion) by 2028.
The distribution also includes CogniCann, a formula for key Dementia and Alzheimer's symptoms and improving specific cognitive functions, while MGC also has the products, InCann for the relief from symptoms of Chron's Disease and IBS, and TopiCann, a topical treatment to reduce psoriasis and eczema appearance.
"Our move into the UK is proving extremely timely, with a change in regulation and increasing interest from doctors and pharmacies keen to explore new ideas particularly involving medical cannabis," Zomer said after the distribution deal was announced yesterday.
"With a robust portfolio of exciting products and a strong development pipeline evolving from our R&D and seed to pharma strategy, we look forward to updating shareholders on our progress as we look to build a leading international biopharma company."
Cannvalate deal to boost MGC's presence in Australia
Another ASX-listed company betting on the UK market is Althea Group (ASX: AGH), which has also registered a spike in patient numbers in Australia thanks in part to a tie-up with Cannvalate, another Australian company to watch with plans for an IPO this year.
MGC has clearly taken notice, as today it also announced it had signed a distribution deal with the Melbourne-based company for distribution in Australia.
"The Cannvalate team is delighted to be representing MGC Pharma's product range across Australia. I have every confidence that their carefully crafted products will be very well received by the medical community," says Cannvalate CEO and co-founder Sud Agarwal.
"Further to distribution, we are currently supporting them to initiate a number of clinical trials at the Swinburne-Cannvalate, Medicinal Cannabis Research Collaboration that will lead to an increased footprint in Australia.
"The outcome of these trials will lead to increased confidence across the medical community as physicians will be able to draw on local data specific to MGC Pharma's product range."
Zomer claims these are exciting times for the company following the Cannvalate deal and the R&D carried out proving to be successful.
"Establishing this distribution and logistics agreement with Cannvalate, a leading company providing access to one of Australia's largest medicinal cannabis prescribing clinics, provides an excellent partner to endorse our phytocannabinoid based product range and significantly expand our distribution in Australia," says Zomer.
This year Cannvalate also signed a major deal with mpression Healthcare (ASX:IHL) and has purchased more than 100 acres of farmland in Melbourne, with plans to become Australia's largest cannabis cultivation hub.
The company intends to build several facilities with full Office of Drug Control approval for cultivation and manufacturing.
Business News Australia