PhytoTech debuts on Australian stock exchange and will use funds for medical marijuana patch

Australia's PhytoTech Medical last week became the country's first medical marijuana company to first be listed on the country's Australian Securities Exchange, where it raised AUS $5.9 million ($4.7 million) in support of its single-use vaporizer to administer medical marijuana at a precise dosage.

Single-use vaporizers and cannabis caps--Courtesy of PhytoTech

This week, it announced an exclusive licensing and collaboration agreement with Yissum Research Development Company, the technology transfer program of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, to develop novel oral and transbucally delivered formulations of the active ingredients of marijuana, also known as cannabis.

Under the technology transfer agreement, Yissum will license its patented inner cheek buccal microadhesive patch to PhytoTech for delivery of medical marijuana for the treatment of any disease or condition except for sleep disorders. The partners will also consider jointly developing other delivery mechanisms of marijuana's medicinal ingredients, THC and CBD, including a transdermal patch, gum or lollipop, and a nasal spray.

"We believe that Yissum's novel transbuccal delivery method is particularly appropriate for the delivery of these agents, and helps avoid problems such as lack of standardization of drug concentration, and health risks stemming from more traditional ways of absorbing cannabis, such as smoking," said Boaz Wachtel, managing director of PhytoTech, in a statement.

PhytoTech will pay Yissum milestone payments of up to AUS $500,000 ($398,390), according to the prospectus it filed to list on the stock exchange. It will also pay its partner royalties of 3-7% of sales.

GW Pharmaceutical's Sativex sublingually sprayed version of medical marijuana is approved in 27 countries outside the U.S., and is in Phase III trials with the FDA for cancer pain management, where it missed its first primary endpoint. But PhytoTech said in a release that its delivery systems will deliver medical marijuana in a controlled manner.

According to the PhytoTech prospectus, the company's development-stage, patent pending vaporizer is unique because it will have a disposable cap and delivers the drug in precise quantities, which will help to deter drug abuse. PhytoTech says vaporization avoids many of the complications from smoking marijuana, such as exposure to carcinogens.

In addition, the company is jointly conducting research into the effect of medical marijuana on the rehabilitation of blood cells after bone marrow transplantation with Israel's Hadassah University Hospital.

PhytoTech has AUS $4.9 million ($3.9 million) in cash and cash and equivalents, and has accumulated losses of AUS $1.3 million ($1 million), according to the prospectus. It intends to grow its medical marijuana in California and Uruguay.

- read the release
- download the prospectus