FRANKFURT, March 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PRESS RELEASE -- Farmako will import 50 tons of pharmaceutical cannabis from Pharmacann Polska into the European market over the next four years. This provides the basis for a reliable supply of pharmaceutical cannabis for millions of patients in the European healthcare system. The company expects a total revenue of several hundred million Euros from the agreed exclusive partnership. Founded in September 2018, Farmako now has grown to 40 employees and is distributing high-quality pharmaceutical cannabis to German pharmacies since March 2019.
- This is the biggest Cannabis contract to date, and the first big contract without participation of a Canadian LP.
- Farmako has signed an exclusive and binding agreement to import and distribute 50 tons of pharmaceutical cannabis over four years.
- Farmako and Pharmacann Polska enter strategic partnership to develop custom tailored strains for European patients.
- Farmako has been selling pharmaceutical cannabis to German pharmacies since March 2019 generating over 100k EUR revenue in the first week of operations.
Sebastian Diemer, founder and chairman of Farmako, said, ”This is a big leap forward for millions of patients in Europe. The market for pharmaceutical cannabis is the fastest growing market worldwide. In Canada, the industry grew from 170 million to a 30 billion industry within three years. We aim to provide cost efficient and custom tailored cannabinoid therapies to support a similar success story for the European markets. When future historians write a history of entrepreneurship, the market liberalization of pharmaceutical cannabis will get a separate chapter. Dozens of investors are waiting in line to be a part of this story.”
Niklas Kouparanis, founder and CEO of Farmako, added, “This first step enables us to build a reliable distribution network in all European jurisdictions with a legal basis for pharmaceutical cannabis. The German is twice as big as the Canadian market, and additional European markets like the United Kingdom markets are opening up. We are in the unique position of reaping the full benefits of a second mover advantage: We adapt the smart moves of our predecessors and do not repeat their mistakes.”
Pharmacann Polska’s representative, Yuval Soiref, the co-founder, CEO and international business development, said, “This exclusive agreement is a great success and not only ensures stable supply of pharmaceutical cannabis, but also a beginning of research-based development of innovative cannabis strains for better and more targeted medical treatment. Thanks to our sophisticated growing systems and pharmaceutical-grade extraction, we are one of the very few players worldwide who are able to guarantee the highest quality cannabis in the largest amount ever seen in European history. Together with Farmako, we enter into an exclusive and promising partnership to move cannabinoid-based healthcare forward.”
Farmako and Pharmacann Polska have agreed on a deep partnership in research and development. It focuses on the joint development of new custom-tailored cannabis strains, while using the full advantage of producing at a substantially lower cost in the eastern part of the EU.
Kouparanis said, “We will produce a higher quality medicine at a lower price than our Canadian competitors. The first pharmaceutical cannabis shipment is expected to be in German pharmacies by June 2019.”
For the next four years, Pharmacann Polska will provide pharmaceutical Cannabis exclusively for Farmako. This finally ensures a stable supply for the German patients which Canadian suppliers could not guarantee in the past year.
Germany will not be the only country to benefit from high-quality therapies with pharmaceutical cannabis.
Kouparanis added, "We will be active in every European jurisdiction that creates a legal basis. In the United Kingdom, Denmark and Luxembourg, pharmaceutical cannabis was also approved. Many more European countries will follow soon. We plan to become Europe's leading pharmaceutical cannabis company and to ensure security of supply in these countries as well. We guarantee that European cannabis for European patients is not only legal, but also affordable and available.”
Background to the Pharmaceutical Cannabis Shortage in Europe
The current pharmaceutical cannabis shortages in Europe are a consequence of the legalization of cannabis for recreational use in Canada in October 2018. Canada and the Netherlands had been the most important suppliers of pharmaceutical Cannabis for German patients. One consequence was that German patients were often unable to redeem their medical prescriptions which jeopardizes sustainable therapies and damaged the reputation of existing market participants. Cultivation in Germany itself is uncertain and will be too little, too late. An invitation to tender for the domestic cultivation of pharmaceutical cannabis was initiated as early as 2017. However, it was overturned in 2018 by the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court. A final decision is expected in April 2019. The first harvest is expected in 2021 at the earliest. Moreover, the total amount of this tender is 10.4 tonnes over four years. The total volume of the tender is only one fifth of the import agreement now closed by Farmako.
Aim of Research and Development
Sebastian Diemer, managing director of the holding company 'The Good Company,' said, "This milestone enables us to help more patients reliably and better. Often, therapies with pharmaceutical cannabis have fewer side effects than the alternatives. In addition, they relieve the health system because they cost less."
Patrick Schmitt, co-founder and CSO, added, "Cannabinoids have not been part of pharmaceutical research for over 80 years. Neither the manufacturing, processing nor the pharmaceutical application has made any significant progress. We want to lead the catch-up. We already know that cannabinoids such as THC or CBD work better in many cases than current commercial drugs. Be it in severe pain, insomnia or nervous diseases or even in cancer treatment."
Dr. Lena Mueller, a physician specializing in clinical trials at Farmako, explained, "We are only just at the beginning of empirical, evidence-based research in medicine. Many patients will be relieved. They are finally certain that they can rely on pharmacies to switch to pharmaceutical cannabis therapy."