Teva inks trailblazing cannabis pact with Israel's Syqe Medical

Teva
Teva has agreed to market the world's first cannabis inhaler in Israel.

Teva has struck a new marketing agreement, and it’s one that’ll help the Israeli drugmaker blaze a new trail in the drug industry.

The pharma has inked a pact that will make it the only distributor in Israel of local company Syqe Medical’s cannabis inhaler, the companies said Monday, without disclosing any financial data on the agreement. Teva will also help Syqe set up a support and instruction team of nurses for patients and healthcare providers.

As of this year, Israel boasted about 26,000 medical cannabis consumption licenses—a figure that’s expected to double by 2018, Israeli newspaper Globes reports. And with licensed patients spending an average $100 per month on cannabis, the revenue potential is there for Teva if the company can get the inhaler selling.

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Meanwhile, the inhaler fits in with Teva’s pain product portfolio; as Avinoam Sapir, Teva Israel’s CEO, told Globes, and the company “entered the field of medical cannabis out of its deep commitment to pain patients.” For Teva, pain represents a key therapeutic area that—along with other core fields such as neurodegenerative and respiratory—CEO Erez Vigodman said he’d look to boost following the company’s $40.5 billion acquisition of Allergan’s generics unit.

Another of Teva’s recent pain partnerships has already hit a sour note, though. In October, less than one month after Teva signed on to help develop and commercialize Regeneron NGF antibody fasinumab—an agreement that saw it fork over $250 million upfront—the FDA put a clinical hold on the prospect, prompting Leerink Partners analyst Geoffrey Porges to reduce the med’s probability of success to 0% in his models.

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