NEW YORK, Feb. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Hexa Research, the U.S. medical cannabis market was valued at USD 5.44 billion in 2016 and is expected to be valued at USD 19.48 billion by 2024. The expected growth is driven by the growing acceptance of medical advantages associated with cannabis, particularly for patients dealing with cancer, diabetes and chronic pain. Symptoms and conditions that may be treated by cannabis include, cancer, HIV, AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis. Chronic pain accounted for 46 percent of the U.S. cannabis medical market share in 2016. According to the research, the solid cannabis edibles segment in 2016, within the U.S. market generated $2.47 billion in revenue and is expected to continue to dominate the cannabis industry to 2024. Pivot Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTC: PVOTF), GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH), Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA), Canopy Growth Corporation (OTC: TWMJF), Aphria Inc. (OTC: APHQF).
California's new recreational cannabis laws went into effect on January 1st, 2018. A report by Fortune indicates that, "In order to collect $1 billion a year in taxes, the state will need to reach a projected $7 billion in annual legal recreational cannabis sales. At that rate, California would easily be the country's largest legal marijuana market, as the entire legal cannabis industry in the U.S. is expected to pull in roughly $10 billion in total sales for 2017. That number would almost certainly get a boost in the coming years, as legal markets grow in California and other states, such as Nevada and Massachusetts."
Pivot Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQB: PVOTF) also listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange under the Ticker 'PVOT'. The company just announced breaking news this morning that it, "is pleased to provide its shareholders with the following Corporate Update. Pivot has had a very active start to 2018 as the management team continues to build a "differentiated" company in the cannabis sector, focusing on improving the cannabis consumer experience with scientifically derived products. Pivot's world-class patent portfolio and industry leading pipeline, supplemented by experienced scientists and developers, will allow the Company to flourish as it continues to produce effective, stable and dosable products for health-conscious consumers.
- Acquisition of ERS Holdings, LLC ("ERS") and Ready-to-Infuse-Cannabis Patents: Pivot has completed the Definitive Agreement and closing is scheduled on or before February 28, 2018. Monetization of the patented Ready-To-Infuse-Cannabis Oil-to-Powder technology ("RTIC") is a top priority for Pivot. A recent report states that cannabis sales have surpassed liquor store sales in Aspen, Colorado for the first time since legal adult-use sales began in 2014. Forbes, citing a study by Cannabiz Consumer Group, states that, "The beer industry could lose more than $2 billion in retail sales to legal marijuana." With the ERS acquisition, Pivot is well positioned to participate in the lucrative global cannabis-infused-beverage market and has already identified potential co-development partners in the alcohol beverage industry.
- Acquisition of Thrudermic, LLC: Pivot previously announced a Binding Letter of Intent to acquire worldwide rights to Thrudermic's patented Transdermal Nanotechnology for the development and commercialization of transdermal cannabinoids. The Company has now exercised its right to acquire 100% of Thrudermic, LLC, with closing scheduled on or before February 28, 2018. Pivot's management has been very impressed with the capabilities of Dr. Leonid Lurya and Dr. Joseph Borovsky and are excited to have them lead Pivot's product development team. The ability to develop products in Israel using Dr. Lurya's patents provides the Company with access to CBD/THC licensed labs, ensuring that Pivot will have several products ready for sale in countries where regulations permit.
- Product Development Update: - a. Micelle 1% CBD oral solution is ready for market. Formulated using Solmic GmbH's patented solubilisation technology, CBD is rendered water-soluble and results in higher bioavailability and stability. - b. Pivot Topical CBD: Dr. Leonid Lurya, working in partnership with Solubest Ltd. (located in the Weizmann Science Park in Israel) has now completed formulation of this product. The semi-solid cream is being evaluated for stability at this time. - c. Pivot's development team has initiated development of Thrudermic transdermal nanotechnology for a systemic CBD product.
- Growing IP Portfolio: Pivot continues to evaluate drug delivery technologies that can assist with the delivery of cannabinoids for human and veterinary use. The Company has filed three additional provisional patents for using nanotechnology delivery of cannabis from various routes of administration: - a. Transdermal nanotechnology delivery system of cannabis using patches and creams; - b. Mucus topical cannabis delivery system through buccal, nasal, vaginal and anal areas of entry using a gel, suppository or mouthwash; and - c. Inhalation delivery system of cannabis for topical or systemic use.
- Standstill Agreement: The previously announced Standstill Agreement has been mutually terminated and as a consequence, other broader opportunities have arisen. Pivot will favor those options that allow it to control all aspects of the cannabis process, from raw materials to formulation, resulting in the highest quality bio cannabis products. These options may include the acquisition of, or Joint Venture with, a Licensed Producer and/or Licensed Dealer. Pivot's management will select the transaction that helps create a long-term, sustainable company and provides the greatest value for shareholders.
- Out-licensing of Pivot's IP: Pivot continues to receive inquiries from companies interested in licensing pipeline products and/or patents. This interest confirms the validity of Pivot's IP strategy. As the cannabis space is emerging, only those products with adequate IP protection will provide a competitive advantage, allow trademarking and branding, and protect innovation.
- European Distribution Partner: Pivot has selected and advanced discussions with an established European-based natural health company to market and distribute products in the EU. A report by Prohibition Partners mentions that, "The European medical cannabis market will be valued at almost €50b once all markets have implemented legislation and market infrastructure. This does not include revenue that will be generated from the additional secondary market and ancillary services. EIHA, Nova-Institute and HempConsult estimate that the European market for CBD as a pharmaceutical product is already worth €2b alone."
Dr. Patrick Frankham, Pivot's CEO states: "I am extremely proud of the entire Pivot team as we continue to execute our business plan. We are overwhelmed by interested companies who now understand that derivatives and superior formulations will improve cannabis product experience and healthy outcomes. We continue to believe that sustainable cannabis companies will have pipelines of products to meet the needs of consumers seeking wellness and healthy lifestyles."
GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform in a broad range of disease areas. Recently, the company announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has accepted for review the Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for Epidiolex® (cannabidiol) for adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. This acceptance follows submission of the MAA in December 2017. The outcome of the MAA review by the EMA is expected in Q1 2019. In preparation for the commercialization of Epidiolex in Europe, GW continues to hire staff in the areas of medical affairs, market access and marketing, all with strong epilepsy or specialist disease experience. Significant progress has been made in hiring country leadership and local medical staff in the five major European markets. This European commercial effort is being led by Chief Operating Officer Chris Tovey, who has significant experience commercializing and launching pharmaceutical products, including within the field of epilepsy.
Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing new chemical entities designed to alleviate pruritus and pain by selectively targeting peripheral kappa opioid receptors (KORs). Cara is developing lead molecules that selectively modulate peripheral CB receptors without targeting CNS cannabinoid receptors. Peripheral CB receptor modulators will be initially developed as a novel therapeutic approach for neuropathic pain, a condition currently without consistently effective therapies. Cara's most advanced CB compound, CR701, is in preclinical development.
Canopy Growth Corporation (OTC: TWMJF) is a world-leading diversified cannabis and hemp company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and Softgel capsule forms. On January 25, 2018, the company announced that it has closed the previously announced acquisition of assets and intellectual property from Green Hemp Industrie Ltd. and has welcomed Green's Principal and Founder, Jason Green to the Canopy Growth family. Canopy Growth will combine its own expertise in large-scale cannabinoid extraction processes with Green's unique whole-plant hemp harvesting knowledge and library of stable CBD-rich hemp genetics to position the Company as a global leader in low-cost, high yield CBD production.
Aphria Inc. (OTCQB: APHQF), one of Canada's lowest cost producers, produces, supplies and sells medical cannabis. On February 2, 2018, the company and Liberty Health Sciences Inc. jointly announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement with respect to the sale of Aphria's subsidiary Aphria (Arizona) Inc. and its sole holdings being the minority membership interests in Copperstate Farms, LLC and Copperstate Farms Investors, LLC to Liberty for a purchase price of $20 million. Copperstate owns approximately 1.7 million square feet of greenhouses in Snowflake, Arizona of which approximately 348,000 square feet are in production of medical cannabis. The Transaction is subject to customary conditions of closing, including the satisfaction or waiver of a right of first offer in favour of existing Copperstate investors. The Transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.
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