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Jazz Pharma Could Be Considering Sale of Cannabis Arm, Ananda Signs New MOU With Nottingham Trent University, & More from Cannovum Cannabis AG

Ananda Developments 

 

Aquis Stock Exchange-listed UK cannabis company Ananda Developments announced a number of key developments across both of its wholly owned subsidiaries this week.

On Wednesday (November 08), Ananda’s wholly owned subsidiary MRX Medical Limited, which it acquired for £2m in March, filed a fifth patent application with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office.

MRX’s proprietary CBD formulation MRX1 is currently being used in two Phase II clinical trials being conducted by the University of Edinburgh, both of which have £1.55m in grant funding, investigating the effects of CBD on chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy and endometriosis.

In May Ananda applied for four patents for its three key cannabinoid formulations, MRX1, MRX2 and MRX3. However this latest patent application related to a new cannabinoid formulation known as MRX2T, with the addition of THC.

“We are hopeful this oil will be used in randomised controlled trials and look forward to bringing shareholders an update on this as soon as possible,” Ananda’s CEO Melissa Sturgess said.

Days earlier, the company announced that its cannabis cultivation subsidiary DJT Plants had signed a memorandum of understanding with Nottingham Trent University to create a ‘formal strategic partnership’ and establish a ‘Cannabinoid Centre of Excellence at NTU’.

The two entities will ‘combine their expertise and resources to pursue third-party grant funding’, which will help Ananda progress its subsidiary’s breeding and genetics programme and its low-carbon cultivation methods.

Ms Sturgess said this tie-up would enable the group ‘to take advantage of commercial opportunities when market trends permit, without incurring the significant monthly costs of its previous strategy.

“We look forward to updating shareholders as we secure grant funding with our new partners.”

The proposed Cannabinoid Centre of Excellence will aim to build out the body of scientific knowledge on medical cannabis in the UK, and become a ‘world leading centre in this area by activity and reputation’.

The pair have also agreed to collaborate on the development of a broader pipeline of research and to seek grant funding for these additional projects.

Jazz Pharma 

 

The pharmaceutical giant, which now boasts a market cap of over $8.3bn, could be considering a sale of its cannabinoid arm, according to recent reports.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that Jazz is understood to have brought in advisors to help gauge interest in a potential sale of parts of its business.

It comes amid a number of key changes at the company, including a change in COO in September, and the ongoing hit to its lead product Xyrem due to the launch of generic alternatives.

According to unnamed sources ‘with knowledge of the situation’, one of the key possibilities being considered is the separation of its oncology and cannabinoid operations, the latter of which it acquired from GW Pharma in 2021 for $7.2bn.

The sale of its cannabinoid arm, which dominates the European pharmaceutical cannabis market with its Epidyolex and Sativex products, ‘makes sense’ according to Truist analyst Joon Lee. 

Mr Lee explained that the perceived lack of appreciation for Jazz’s growing oncology portfolio, alongside growing competition for its other central nervous system focused products, mean a potential separation of its various businesses seems like a realistic possibility.

“Divestment of Epidiolex, as mentioned in the article, almost makes sense given Paragraph IV challenges.”

Cannovum Cannabis AG

 

The German listed cannabis operator Cannovum Cannabis AG saw its stock jump 24% this week following news that its Cultivation Alliance has signed up three new partners, as the group prepares for the imminent introduction of Germany’s Pillar 1.

Its majority holding, Anbau-Allianz für Deutschland GmbH, has now welcomed consulting, analysis and testing company Wessling, ‘top-tier’ horticultural company Rieke Blumen and cannabis imaging technology and growth analytics provider SpexAI to its ranks.

Wessling is set to help provide quality checks on ingredients and ensure compliance with the stringent legal requirements in the upcoming legalisation of recreational cannabis cultivation.

Its CEO Anna said: “It is critical to us to contribute to the high quality and safety of cannabis through our analytical services.”

Rieke Blumen, which has a considerable indoor and outdoor cultivation area, is set to offer its horticultural expertise to the group.

It said: “The legalisation of cannabis as a stimulant promises an exciting new market to which we, as growers with large cultivation areas, want to make an important contribution.”

Meanwhile SpexAI, which develops ‘intelligent spectral cameras that monitor cannabis plants around the clock’ to provide real-time data for growers, says it sees ‘great potential in the cooperation with the Cultivation Alliance’.

Its founder Ben Niehaus added: “With our technology, we are laying the foundation for consistent cultivation, necessary automation and significant increases in efficiency that will enable growers to achieve outstanding results with consistent quality.”

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