TORONTO, Feb. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Avicanna Inc. (“Avicanna” or the “Company) (TSX: AVCN) (OTCQX: AVCNF) (FSE: 0NN) a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of plant-derived cannabinoid-based products is pleased to announce that it has entered into a new sub-license agreement with VB Brands California LLC (“Viola Brands”) and Player Holdings LLC to exclusively commercialize its Viola-branded products in the United Kingdom territory (“UK”) where the company has entered into a sub-licensing agreement with Vertical Pharma Resources Limited T/A IPS Pharma (“IPS Pharma”) for the manufacturing and distribution of the products.
Expanding from the initial partnership in Canada where Avicanna successfully launched 9 SKUs of Viola-branded products across medical and adult use channels, the two companies have opened a new territory with their expansion into the UK. Starting late Q1 2023, Viola’s purpose-driven vision, rooted in social equity and social justice will be available to patients in the UK through the exclusive licensing agreement.
To facilitate the expansion, Avicanna has entered a sub-licensing agreement with IPS Pharma, a local pharmaceutical distribution company with more than 20 years of experience with unlicensed medicines to support the launch of the product offerings. The initial products will be manufactured in the UK under GMP guidelines and distributed through IPS’ Pharma’s existing network of pharmacies via medical prescription under the Special Access Program.
The initial products offered in the UK will include proprietary formulations of vaporizers in THC-dominant and balanced CBD:THC ratios and will be supported by medical education and training.
“We are thrilled to be extending our partnership with Al Harrington and the Viola team and expanding our high-quality products to patients in an exciting new international market. We are also looking forward to building new relationships and potential collaborations with the medical community in the United Kingdom as we have in other markets,” stated Aras Azadian.
Al Harrington, NBA veteran, Founder & CEO of Viola Brands commented, “I was inspired to start Viola when I saw how cannabis was able to heal my grandmother. Since then, our mission has been to help and empower as many people as possible and I’m so proud we’re now able to share our products with patients in the UK, with the help of our partners at Avicanna.”
The UK government legalized the use of cannabis in 2018, after the cases of two epileptic children benefited from using cannabis brought increased public attention to the issue. Medical cannabis can be prescribed by specialists as unlicensed medicines in the UK called CBPM (cannabis-based product for medicinal use).
The CBPM definition is necessarily broad to take account of the range of preparations which are cannabis-based that have been used for therapeutic purposes and to ensure that raw products/ingredients and intermediate products are captured. This is essential to ensure that where there is a clinical need, a patient will be able to access appropriate cannabis-based medicines and/or products can be made to meet any prescription.1
To its knowledge, the Company carries out its operations in compliance with all applicable laws in the jurisdictions in which it operates.
About Avicanna Inc.
Avicanna is a commercial-stage international biopharmaceutical company focused on the advancement and commercialization of evidence-based cannabinoid-based products for the global medical and pharmaceutical market segments. Avicanna has an established scientific platform including R&D and clinical development that has led to the commercialization of more than thirty products across various market segments:
Medical Cannabis & Wellness Products: Marketed under the RHO Phyto™ brand these medical and wellness products are a line of pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoid products containing varying ratios of cannabidiol (“CBD”) and tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”). The product portfolio contains a full formulary of products including oral, sublingual, topical, and transdermal deliveries that have controlled dosing, enhanced absorption and stability studies supported by pre-clinical data. The formulary is marketed with consumer, patient and medical-community education and training.
Pharmaceutical Pipeline: Leveraging Avicanna’s scientific platform, vertical integration, and real-world evidence, Avicanna has created a pipeline of patent-pending drug candidates that are indication-specific and in various stages of clinical development and commercialization. These cannabinoid-based drug candidates look to address unmet medical needs in the areas of dermatology, chronic pain, and various neurological disorders. Avicanna’s first pharmaceutical preparation (Trunerox™) is in the drug registration stage in South America.
SOURCE Avicanna Inc.
About IPS Pharma
IPS Pharma is an independent pharmaceutical services company operating in three main areas in the UK: Unlicensed medicines (Unlicensed Imports and Specials), Clinical Trials and Special Obtains. With more than 20 years in the market IPS has become a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in the UK with the capability to deliver over 20,000 formulations for unlicensed medicines as well as Investigational Medical product (IMP) and comparators for clinical trials. IPS is audited and licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and is also a member of the Association of Pharmaceuticals Unlicensed medicines Manufacturers (APSM).
In addition, IPS Pharma has been one of the first companies to offer medical cannabis to patients in the UK and has earned a leading position in the growing medical cannabis market in the United Kingdom.
Founded in 2011 by NBA veteran Al Harrington, Viola is one of the nation’s leading producers and licensed wholesalers of premium quality cannabis products. The brand is named after and inspired by Al’s grandmother who suffers from glaucoma and diabetes, finding solace in cannabis remedies. Viola has integrated the latest cutting-edge technology with its own proprietary procedures designed for every stage of the cultivation, extraction and production process. The company is known for its wide variety of product offerings, from high-quality flower to premier butane extracts and operates in California, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, and Oklahoma.
Through education, equitable offerings, expungement, and incubation programs, Viola’s mission is to increase minority representation, facilitate community building and provide greater employment opportunities to Black and other minority communities in cannabis. Viola intends to expand the reach of Viola into Canada with educational initiatives to increase the awareness of safe cannabis use.
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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Statements
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information contained in this news release may be identified using words such as, “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “likely”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “believe, “intend”, “plan”, “forecast”, “project”, “estimate”, “outlook” and other similar expressions. Although the Company believes that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward looking information is based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking information because the Company can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Actual results and developments may differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. Forward-looking information is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Such risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to current and future market conditions, including the market price of the common shares of the Company, and the risk factors set out in the Company’s annual information form dated March 31, 2022 filed with the Canadian securities regulators and available under the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The statements in this news release are made as of the date of this release. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws.