Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Ganja-based anti-cancer drug will not be sold to venture capitalists

Published:Wednesday | July 12, 2017 | 7:25 PM

Dr Henry Lowe's Flavocure Biotech LLC, a US-based company, said the firm will avoid selling its marijuana-based anti-cancer drug, still in the development stages, to venture capitalists, who value the pending drug at up to US$50 million.

The drug, which targets acute myeloid leukemia, received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug status in April and now requires final development to retail and that will take years, said Dr Lowe in a press conference today at Eden and Garden in St. Andrew.

The FDA approves and regulates the drug industry.

The drug is intended to treat cancer conditions which affect less than 200,000 patients in the United States so its seen as a novel or categorized as an 'orphan drug' by the FDA. 

Dr. Lowe aims to raise US$3.5 million in order to finance the final stage of development of the drug for retail sale, planned in two to three years time.

"It's not an easy road to travel," he said, adding that the company would prefer to raise the funds locally.

However local banks denied him previous attempts even with collateral, he recalled.

Lowe will also avoid pitching to large pharmaceuticals which in his words would "park the drug".

He added:"We have been advised that if we sell now we would get between US$15 million to US$50 million."

- steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com