Company News: Helius; Cannvalate; Incannex; Medleaf

Therapeutic Helius

Helius Therapeutics has promoted chief commercial operations officer Julie Curphey to chief commercial officer (CCO) as the New Zealand-based company shifts to “delivery mode”.

Curphey held several management positions with Pfizer in Australia, the UK and Europe for 11 years, and spent the last five years as Director of Marketing at Blis Technologies in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Julie Curphey, Commercial Director of Helius

Managing Director, Carmen Doran, said: “Announcing Julie as our CCO reaffirms that Helius has a globally experienced team working hard to get the job done.

“We are now well and truly in delivery mode – serving Kiwi patients first and foremost, then launching our export strategy soon.”

With extensive experience in technology, pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare and consumer packaged goods, the company said Curphey brings “a strong track record in international product commercialization and marketing, market research and customer knowledge, and change management”.

Curphey said: “There is a huge unmet need and a lot of work to do to make medicinal cannabis as accessible as possible.

“[It] has the potential to become one of New Zealand’s largest export sources with overseas demand for herbal therapeutic products.

This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for our country as we recover from the pandemic,” she added.

Cannvalate/Tetra Bio-Pharma

Canadian company Tetra Bio-Pharma has closed the first tranche of a private placement with Cannvalate resulting in the issuance of over 8.2 million common shares representing 1.95% of the total.

The shares were issued at C$0.06 each, raising $500,000, the first of seven separate tranches that will result in total proceeds of $7.5 million.

Earlier this month, the two companies reached an agreement to conduct clinical trials of Tetra’s cannabinoid drug candidates in Australia through Cannvalate’s wholly-owned clinical research organization Ingenu.

Tetra CEO, Dr Guy Chamberland, said: “We are encouraged by the partnership with Cannvalate and Ingenu, as it will allow the company to further advance our Qixleef drug program, a promising alternative to opioids.

“Many investigational new drugs fail to find use in the management of severe pain. Our interim clinical data demonstrates that Qixleef has the potential to make a significant difference in patients. Our new partners join us in the race to bring alternatives to pain management.

Inannex Health

Incannex has completed a pre-investigative New Drug Application meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss the development of its novel cannabinoid combination IHL-42X for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). ) in adults.

Incannex said the FDA’s response was “constructive and supportive,” with its interest in the project piqued by the large cohort of people diagnosed with OSA and the lack of pharmacological treatment options.

The FDA provided guidance on Incannex’s proposed long-term development strategy, including specific parameters to demonstrate safety and efficacy in pivotal Phase 2 and 3 studies. It agreed that the company will not did not need to conduct animal studies.

Medleaf Therapeutic

New Zealand company Medleaf Therapeutics has had its first dried flower product verified by the country’s Medical Cannabis Agency.

Courtney Letica, CEO of Medleaf

Medleaf said the “medium THC whole flower shishkaberry” product will be the first of two higher volume value offerings “for what is intended to be a full suite of product offerings through 2023, satisfying a range for different needs and tastes of our patients”.

CEO Courtney Letica added: “This verification has been a long time coming, with the first go-to-market conversations taking just under two years. We look forward to finally delighting patients with an offering that is superior in every way.

Karen J. Nelson