Jeff Renwick and Richard Goldstein (l&r above) have been working together on the generic side of the pharmaceutical business for a decade. Developing drugs and drug delivery systems. Renwick has a total of 25 years in pharma and Goldstein was an investment banker. Their private company had two generic drugs in the pipeline and a good deal of work on extended release formulations.
“We’d spent our money,” said Goldstein. “We’d build a generic pharma operation in Markham Ontario. We had all the staff and the equipment and had two drugs licenced. Jeff and his team did the work on the extended release. The problem was we had no money. We went to the market to raise some but we got no traction on our first drug.”
“So we decided to start a newco three years ago,” said Goldstein. “Canntab (C.PILL) was incorporated on 4/20/2016. We did a raise in the fall of 2016 which closed January 1, 2017, at $.25. Then we did a deal with Emblem for a suite of products which used our extended release. In December 2017 we did another raise using subscription receipts: 5 million at $1.00. And on 4/20/2018 we were publicly traded”
“There was a bit of a sell-off in the summer. We were doing some deals and we brought on Hybrid Financial who reached out to brokers,” said Goldstein. “We’ve become better known in the marketplace. And our shares trended up. Right now, we’re trading around $1.85 but we’ve been as high as $2.14. We have a deal for Canada and a deal for Australia.”
Canntab is doing well because it has a solution for a set of problems which have been dogging the medical/pharmaceutical side of legal cannabis. The essential problem is dose over time. The least attractive way to deliver cannabis’s medicinal benefits is to smoke dried flower. It’s smelly, it involves all the associated health hazards and the dose varies wildly over time. When smoking, you are initially flooded with the drug, sometimes to the point of experiencing negative side effects. Oils and edibles may take hours to begin having an impact but it’s very easy to eat too much and going beyond the “Therapeutic Window.” That’s where Canntab comes in with a series of hard oral dose delivery systems that can provide stable relief over an entire day.
The solution to the problems of dose, smell and mess is a hard pill. Jeff Renwick says that Canntab Therapeutics addresses these problems by providing a better delivery system, a hard pill of natural product through a unique, proprietary technology. To bolster this Lorne Gertner, the godfather of the Canadian cannabis industry, says, “I believe the ultimate solution to the delivery of Cannabis will be through a hard pill.”
“Oils are metabolized in the liver,” said Renwick. He went on to point out that liver function varied from patient to patient depending on how well their livers were functioning, if they were drinking, how long it had been since their last meal and how efficiently a particular patient’s liver metabolized a particular oil. Even at a research level, liver metabolization makes accurate testing of medicinal cannabis products very difficult.
“We are trying to provide cannabis in a better system.” said Renwick. “Our extended release pills bypassed the liver and delivers the cannabinoids directly to the colon. The colon is a better place for extended release. We encapsulate the cannabinoids so they pass through to the colon. It is the easy way for the body to uptake cannabinoids.”
Cannatab’s current range of extended release pills with varying amounts and combinations of THC and CBD in 2.5, 5 and 10 mg pills.
“You are getting a certain dosage over a certain time period,” said Renwick. “We’re not really talking about what the drug is used for.”
Which is important and scientifically critical because it allows pharmaceutical companies to prepare baseline studies. For example, Canntab is working with a company on a clinical study which measures how much CBD is in a subject’s blood stream. Having extended release, dose-controlled, pills makes this sort of study useful and repeatable.
“We can’t say cannabis cures disease ‘x” or ‘y’,” said Renwick. “First we have to know how much of the cannabinoid is actually being taken up.”
Out of the gate, Canntab has products which will have a worldwide market. Clinical studies need pharmaceutical grade, tested, reference doses and Canntab can deliver them.
Cannabis legalization in Canada involves far more than simply the pot shop down the street. While recreational marijuana will occupy a lot of media time in the next few weeks, the fact is legalization opens up the ability of pharmaceutical companies to develop and test real medicines to treat or alleviate a multiplicity of diseases and conditions.
Canntab is working towards its own medicines and continuing to develop its line of products. It is also negotiating deals, such as the October 1 agreement with Colombia’s NewCanna, for the sale & distribution of Canntab’s products in Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Spain.
Legal cannabis is fast becoming a worldwide market opportunity and Canntab has the products and processes to meet that market.