United States-based laboratory Flavocure LLC, founded by Jamaican scientist, Dr. Henry Lowe, has received an investment from Atlas Biotechnologies Inc valued at more US$5.75 million (J$735 million) to further the research and development of pharmaceutical drugs derived from cannabis, according to market filings this week.
It puts the value of Flavocure at some US$29 million (J$3.7 billion).
Canada-based Atlas is part of a legal marijuana entity which aims to partner with Flavocure to bring its pharmaceutical drugs to market. Flavocure is one company within the Eden Gardens Group of Companies held by Dr. Lowe.
He has long stated that the real value of medical marijuana was in pharmaceutical drugs rather than therapeutic or recreational oils.
Atlas will acquire a 20 per cent stake in the company via share swap, accompanied by an investment of US$500,000 in Flavocure. With the intention to undertake a new equity financing as well as expected research grant funding in 2019, Flavocure hopes to advance its research efforts on their current three target cancers.
Last year, Flavocure received orphan drug status for its cresorol drug from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). An orphan drug targets conditions which affect fewer than 200,000 patients in the United States so it is seen as novel.
Cresorol targets acute myeloid leukaemia. It now requires final development for commercialisation, a process that can take years. The FDA regulates the food, drug and tobacco industry in the United States. Lowe previously indicated that if the patent for the drug was sold it could fetch anywhere between US$15 million and US$50 million.
Flavocure has also developed two other therapeutic molecules which use cannabis flavonoid derivatives in the treatment of aggressive forms of cancer – pancreatic and glioblastoma (brain) cancer.
Flavocure was founded in 2015 by Dr. Lowe in association with the company’s chief executive officer, Dr. Ngeh Toyang. The lab is one of three science-based institutions developed by Dr. Lowe for the purpose of cannabis research.
By: Steven Jackson