Veritas Leads Puerto Rico Partnership With Approval of New Investigation License

The license allows clinical evaluation of the company's lead cannabis product in alleviating acute pain.

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February 11, 2019
Press Release

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Feb. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PRESS RELEASE -- Veritas Pharma Puerto Rico, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Veritas Pharma, Inc., in partnership with the Institute for Medical Cannabis and the Fundación de Investigación were approved this past Friday for an Investigation License from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Medicinal Cannabis Regulatory Board allowing clinical evaluation of their lead cannabis product (CTL-X) in alleviating acute pain. IMC and FDI represent two of Puerto Rico’s leading researchers in medicinal cannabis. The concession is also the first of its kind, representing the first collaboration of such by local partners and a foreign-owned and publicly-traded entity.

The trio’s license marks the commencement of the first human trials for medicinal cannabis to be carried out on the island since the approval of the Medicinal Cannabis Act of 2017 by the Commonwealth government. Veritas has licensed the intellectual property of its patented strains to IMC, whom in turn provide samples to the FDI for direct research to be carried out in the latter’s San Juan-based clinical research facilities. The trial will start this week and it is estimated that they will take up to three months to complete.

FDI operates state-of-the-art facilities and includes a 30-bed phase I unit, an in-house bioanalytical laboratory, experienced multispecialty personnel, and the latest in medical technology. CEO and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. José F. Rodríguez-Orengo is a recognized research specialist on the island, who also acts as Associate Director of the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine’s Department of Biochemistry. In the past, FDI’s clinical trials have been sponsored by seven of the top ten pharmaceutical companies from around the world.

Veritas’ Director Nick Standish commented, “We are pleased with the news of receiving this research license in Puerto Rico. The Veritas and Cannevert teams have worked very hard to get to this point, and this license means we can take these next important steps forward that get us that much closer to having a marketable medical cannabis product, backed with real and credible science.”

Veritas’ Medical Director Dr. Scott Alexander stated, “After being met with delays of the extended holiday season in Puerto Rico and the recent 35-day U.S. federal government shut down, we are extremely proud to be the first group to obtain an Investigational License and we are very eager to start to study the efficacy of CTL-X in an adult human population. We are also looking forward to collaborating with IMC and what it means for the development of new medical cannabis products. The industry is relatively new, and the offering has yet to catch up with the demand for new and diverse products.” The trials represent Veritas’ latest advancement in Puerto Rico’s market, which has seen exponential growth since the government’s regulation of medicinal cannabis. The number of certified patient licenses has grown 58 percent since September 2018, when the Regulatory Board rolled out a new online application process for patient licenses. Previously, Board offices were characterized by long lines of citizens applying for their licenses.