Ross Greenwood speaks to Medlab CEO Sean Hall about the first successful shipment of cannabis-based medicine, NanaBis. (NanaBisTM is an investigative new product containing 1:1 ratios of Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-trethydrocannabinol (THC), delivery in a sub micron spray to the oro-buccal membrane.)
Introduction: Medicinal Cannabis milestone
Ross Greenwood: Another story out today. This is a good story this one, interesting one, and that is a company called Medlab was still in the stock exchange, put out an announcement that it’s made it’s first successful shipment of a product called Nanabis. Nanabis is effectively a cannabis-based medicine that’s being developed and is now being sent to the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, where it’s going to commence advance cancer pain human trials. It’s quite an accomplishment.
The managing director of Medlab is Dr. Shawn Hall, who is on the line right now. Good day, Shawn, how are you?
Interview with: Sean Hall, CEO, Medlab
Dr. Shawn Hall: Ross, I’m good, thank you for having me.
Ross Greenwood: How long is this journey taking you?
Dr. Shawn Hall: [Laugh] It’s probably a good three years in it now.
Ross Greenwood: Three years?
Dr. Shawn Hall: Yes.
Ross Greenwood: In regards to the efficiency or effectiveness of this product, cannabis-based products, for those people who are suffering pain from cancer in particular, in this case. What are your hopes? Because obviously, it’s a trial, you’ve actually got to come through the other side of the trial. What are your hopes with this?
Dr. Shawn Hall: I’m hoping that we can provide an alternative to opioid use in this type of patient care. It’s a challenge, we believe it’s medically plausible, there’s certainly a lot of literature out there that backs up what we’re trying to do, but the trial itself will determine whether we’re right or wrong, but from a hypothesis point of view, I stand with a good group of people who believe that this is more than plausible.
If we’re right, maybe in a couple of years time doctors have the ability to script, just like any other medication out there, an alternative to opioid to pain management.
Ross Greenwood: The steps from here would be to successfully complete this trial, then to try and put this before the therapeutic goods administration, and then obviously be looking globally for this- Is there anybody else doing similar things to this in Australia or around the world? I know there’s a number of other medicinal cannabis companies around the place, but is anybody doing this specific trial at the moment?
Dr. Shawn Hall: I think in Australia we’re unique, I think in the world because we’re talking about a cannabis medicine that’s being told in to – pardon the technical expression – a nanomedicine, its nanoparticle in size, wrap it up, take into the body. I think it puts it into a league of its own. There’s certainly work happening on pain management drugs around the world, but we believe we’ve carved out a rather unique niche. On that, I think we’ve put together an excellent team to prove that this works, or it doesn’t.
Ross Greenwood: Shawn, how did you and the team came upon this in the first place? Where were you working previously that made you become interested in the properties of cannabis and just what it could do in regards to pain management?
Dr. Shawn Hall: Yes, there’s a bit of a personal story in here, but I’ve been around the life sciences industry in Australia for most of my life, but around about 10 years ago I lost my brother to cancer, and one of the things I couldn’t fathom was the amount of pain he was going through. Myself and a group of people who I regarded as very smart individuals of the time, started having conversations as to is there a better way, what does it look like, what the standard therapy look like after we improve that, and one compounded another.
Then when I put the Medlab team together a couple years ago, I made it very clear to them that one of our key projects was to have a crack at pain, and in doing so I believe that there was medical plausibility in the use of CBD and THC from marijuana as opposed to hemp. Everything unfolded from there.
Ross Greenwood: I’ll tell you what, it’s an amazing story and even an interesting personal story along with quite clearly the clinical story that’s going along with this. We wish you all the very best, as I say, it was a first shipment of this cannabis-based drug called Nanabis has been sent to the Royal North Shore hospital [unintelligible 00:03:57], and they’ll start the advance cancer pain human trials immediately there, and Shawn, I appreciate your time here on the program this evening.
Dr. Shawn Hall: Any time mate, thank you very much.
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