CSIRO now set to develop new medicinal cannabis products

Image Credit: CSIRO

CSIRO will work hand-in-hand with local manufacturers to develop new medicinal cannabis therapeutics – a move that will also make room in the local job market. 

Australia’s national science agency announced today that it will begin developing new medicinal cannabis products with a new licence already secured.

The products up for development will target a variety of conditions including multiple sclerosis and chronic pain, putting Australia at the forefront of new cannabis medicines.

“Around the world, researchers are exploring the potential for medicinal cannabis to help with conditions such as epilepsy and the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain,” said CSIRO Scientist, Adjunct Professor Peter Duggan.

“We had been able to do early-stage work with cannabis, but the new licence will enable us to develop cannabis-derived cannabinoid medicines using innovative extraction, refinement and formulation techniques.”

Currently, CSIRO is the only independent research institute to develop drug manufacturing protocols for medicinal cannabis in Australia, where the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is still highly regulated.

However, things are looking up as Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA) approved the sale of over-the-counter lose dose forms of cannabidiol (CBD) last December.

Cannabis derivatives such as oils, capsules, oral sprays and lozenges can also be prescribed through the TGA’s Special Access Scheme.

CSIRO claims the new license, with its new manufacturing protocols, will bridge the gap between growers and manufacturers. Once developed, the prototype products will be sent to local manufacturers for large-scale production.

Cann Group (ASX:CAN) CEO and Chair of Medicinal Cannabis Industry Australia (MCIA) is optimistic about the news, citing the cannabis company’s three-year relationship with CSIRO.

“With this independent license CSIRO will be able to play a key role in helping establish a vibrant industry in Australia,” said Mr Crock.

“Research that creates new and enhanced medical products and improves manufacturing processes is important if we want Australia’s medicinal cannabis industry to be competitive in a global market.”

Over 20 medicinal cannabis companies are currently listed on the ASX, as the number of licenced cultivators and manufacturers in Australia continues to grow.