This article was originally published on CannabisFN
By Ryan Allway
GW Pharmaceuticals plc’s (NASDAQ: GWPH) Sativex made headlines as the world’s first prescription medication derived from the cannabis plant. The oral spray is designed to treat conditions like spasticity in multiple sclerosis, cancer pain, and neuropathic pain by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and “dimming down” these symptoms.
In this article, we will take a look at Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s (OTCQB: MJNA) investment in AXIM Biotechnologies Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM), a microcap biotech firm that has developed an innovative delivery mechanism that could outperform competitors at a significantly lower cost.
Novel Delivery Mechanism
AXIM Biotechnologies is currently in clinical development for the world’s first controlled-release functional chewing gum, called MedChewRX, to determine if it can effectively treat chronic pain and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis. In conjunction with the Free University of Amsterdam and other institutions, the company is conducting research under strict FDA/EMA guidelines with a 24-month timeline prior to registration.
The company’s researchers believe that the act of chewing – known as mastication in the medical community – could also have neurological benefits. According to a growing body of research, the act of chewing could prevent cognitive dysfunction by changing internal carotid arterial blood flow and thereby increasing cerebral blood flow. Chewing gum could therefore cause regional increases in neuronal activity that could be cognitively beneficial. Combined with the therapeutic action of the medication, MedChew aims to improve the experience of patients over existing medications.
CFN Media caught up with Dr. Titus at the recent Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in New York. Here he discusses MJNA’s portfolio investment company, AXIM Biotechnologies (AXIM).
In addition to this mechanism of action, the company is in the process of developing a unique extraction and freeze-drying technology for the production of molecularly/genetically controlled pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoid extracts from industrial hemp plants.
Possible Fast Track to Regulatory Approval
AXIM Biotechnologies believes that its case for regulatory approval and fast track status could be bolstered by research that has already been undertaken by prior European pharmaceutical endeavors.
Previous pharmaceutical development efforts have led to and established “evidence of safety” for a similar compound that AXIM hopes to develop in Europe. AXIM’s cannabis-based compounds in MedChew may potentially gain European medical approval within 12 – 24 months, depending on whether or not it can fast track their medication. Assuming future European approval, the potential to then attain similar approvals in the US marketplace may be a next step for AXIM’s MedChew product.
The relatively (for biotech) near-term European approval could enable the company to rival competitor(s), who are still waiting to discuss with the US regulatory agency if and how late-stage studies will proceed in the US for the multiple sclerosis indication. Although a long-shot, if
AXIM could leapfrog competitors and secure a first-to-market drug in the US, the company could see significant upside potential given that nearly 80% of the 400,000 MS patients throughout the U.S. experience spasticity-related problems.
The potential for a near-term European approval of the company’s controlled-release functional chewing gum could justify improved valuation for AXIM shareholders. Talks with
European regulators are still preliminary, so much of this is conjecture at this point. Currently, the AXIM shares trade with a market capitalization of just $13 million, which is a fraction of its potential valuation if it is successful in securing European approval for a MS treatment option.
Although MedChew has a long way to go toward European regulatory approval, a case can be made for biotech investors and analysts to begin to follow developments within AXIM.
Effective Low-Cost Ingredients
By leveraging its close ties with the Dutch government, AXIM Biotechnologies believes that it will be able to manufacturing these products at a “significant” discount to competitors. These cost advantages could translate to higher profit margins for the company and/or lower costs to patients that could accelerate market share gains. Either way, the lower cost is good news for shareholders that stand to benefit handsomely if the drug is approved.
In contrast, GW Pharmaceuticals operates its own growing operations at a secret facility located in England. The company believes that the facility is a key component that differentiates it within the market. For its part, AXIM believes that its extraction and freeze-drying technology will enable it to produce extremely pure and high-quality cannabinoids for use in its upcoming portfolio of cannabis-based medications.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTCQB: MJNA) investors are uniquely positioned to capitalize on AXIM Biotechnologies’ potential upside through a ~38% equity stake plus preferred stock. In addition, MJNA shareholders benefit from diversification into various other business ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries that are looking to capitalize on the cannabis industry. These projects include its RSHO™ hemp oils that are being distributed throughout the world.
For more information about Medical Marijuana, Inc., visit the company’s website at www.medicalmarijuanainc.com. Or, visit AXIM Biotechnologies website for more information about their company and portfolio at www.aximbiotech.com.
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