Astrasana Holding AG is pursuing the goal of building a European distribution network of medical cannabis.
CEO Yves Antoniazzi, his subsidiary Astrasana Czech s.r.o with its’ managing director Tomas Ryska, are setting their sights on the next European country, the Czech Republic: “We are entering into a joint venture with the pharmaceutical company Pilulka s.r.o.
“This gives us access to the Czech market and an existing patient base. Together, we have planned for the import and distribution of pharmaceutical raw materials. As the legalisation of medical cannabis progresses throughout Europe, new markets are gradually opening up, and we are in a prime position to tap into them.”
Co-Founder Miroslav Šmida is responsible for Pilulka s.r.o.. His company operates a large hospital pharmacy in the city of Brno and already serves thousands of patients. Medical hemp has been legal in the country since 2014 but is still difficult to obtain. In 2022, cannabis extracts were authorised for medical therapies and this need can now be met with imported APIs.
Together with Astrasana, the pharmaceutical company can ensure reliable sales of imported cannabis and via Pilulka’s supply network, furnish other Czech pharmacies. In addition, the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use, which is planned for 2023, will open up further opportunities in the Czech Republic.
Astrasana is also involved in the first Czech cannabis research project. A newly launched study at the Business University of Prague VSE is examining the economic aspects of the plant and its products. Also on board is the international university network CEMS, with world-leading business universities, multinational companies, and NGOs. Under the leadership of Prof. Tomas Ryska, the team is comparing hemp-based active ingredients with conventional drugs.
The focus lays on gaining detailed understanding of the medical cannabis patients experience as well as those of doctors and pharmacist prescribing and preparing medicinal cannabis products. From this, findings will be derived that can be incorporated into the marketing of cannabis-based drugs. This will serve to improve cooperation with authorities and physicians as well as to improve the sensitisation of patients. Hurdles and uncertainties on all sides will be reduced and a profitable application of optimally tolerated active substances will be achieved.